An interior designer is bringing a popular dessert parlour ‘back to life’.

Marhaba in Victoria Street, Blackburn was one of the first dessert parlours to open up in the town setting a trend which has been replicated elsewhere.

However, despite continuing to attract customers from across Lancashire it has gone largely untouched since it launched. It has now been renovated at a cost of £150,000.

As well as having a new branding, the interior has had a complete overhaul by designer Blackburn designer Junaid Khan.

Work on the 75-seater eatery which sells a range of gelato ice-creams, drinks and snacks began in March last year.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Junaid`, the creative director and founder of Bibi Interiors, was tasked with reinventing the space and brand.

He said: “This is in many ways the entrance to the Whalley Range shopping district and it had not changed since it opened more than 10 years ago.

“I felt the whole business needed re-branding.

“I feel it’s the heart of the community and perfectly located with loyal customers. It had a number of positives his competitors lacked but were not taken advantage of. 

“One of the branding ideas I needed to bring in was to make it more community focused. Many others have opened in recent years with the personality of a nightclub. I wanted to steer away from that and approach it with a family oriented way, somewhere you could bring your mum. 

“I wanted to evoke a real sense of emotion and an experience on visits and one is reminded of lost traditions.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Junaid said he also wanted to share the owner’s visions of keeping this a family friendly environment.

“People may not know that the owner makes his own gelato ice-creams with machines imported from Italy and milk sourced directly from a local farm.”

The second floor where much of the work has been completed includes an ‘Instagrammable space’.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Junaid said: “I thought I would use words in Hindi to give it relevance and authenticity, alongside classical Bollywood music. Its neon written message is quiet poignant considering the journey we have all made in the past year as we are all looking to reconnect socially.

“It is an interactive space, where you can press a button and listen to the message and share it on social media. It’s something that’s not been done before and looking forward to people having fun with it.” 

The first time customers will be able to experience the new Marhaba is May 17, when Covid restrictions are lifted.