A NEW town-centre Indian restaurant has set an opening date at the end of this month.

The £350,000 EastzEast eaterie will open with a VIP party on Sunday August 26 or Monday August 27, opening its doors to the public at noon the day after.

Work turning the former Blakey’s café bar at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, into a South Asian evening restaurant and daytime cafe is now nearly complete.

Company director Zahid Iqbal said: “We are really looking forward to opening to the public.

“We are just waiting to fix our opening date depending on which day VIPs can come. It will be the Sunday or Monday of the week starting August 26.

“We have spent more than £300,000 getting the restaurant ready and just right, on top of the £50,000 or so the council spent preparing the property.

“Workmen have just been putting the chandeliers up and finishing off the kitchens and washrooms.

“There will be space for 220 diners including a luxury VIP area with 20-marbled-topped tables and special carpets, lights and booths."

Mr Iqbal added: “From noon to 5pm we will have a daytime cafe serving traditional British dishes including fish and chips and afternoon tea.

“On Mondays to Fridays and Sundays, EastzEast will offer a halal traditional Sunday roast with all the trimmings using lamb and chicken.

“From 5pm we will offer a South Asian curry menu.

“Initially we will close around 11pm but will review that after a few weeks. EastzEast will be the place to come for a curry in Blackburn town centre.

“In addition we will make the restaurant carbon friendly.

“Each table will have the option to add 99p to the bill to pay for planting trees in Africa.

“Hopefully thousands of trees will be planted in various countries starting with Mozambique because of the generosity of Blackburn diners.”

Cllr Damian Talbot, leisure boss for Blackburn with Darwen Council, which owns the premises said: “I am delighted that EastzEast Blackburn has announced an opening date. “I know what a lot of work has gone into preparing the venue for customers and it will be great to see this latest addition to the local leisure scene.”