A stunning new British Asian cuisine restaurant has opened on the site of Blackburn’s oldest pub.

MyLahore, based in the old Red Lion Hotel in Whitebirk Road is opening its doors today (Monday August 1) and owners said they had been careful to keep the historic features of the much-loved building intact while renovating.

This will be the sixth MyLahore to open in the country and comes almost 20 years since the first MyLahore launched in Bradford.

Blackburn's MyLahore was renovated both inside and out with exterior landscaping helping to free up parking for the 130-seater restaurant.

Shakoor Ahmed said: “It has been challenging but also pleasing to be opening in Blackburn.

“The building was not in a good state when we took it over and a lot of hard work went into revitalising the site while also respecting the heritage”.

“We were determined to keep certain elements of the historic building intact. You will find that the floor, fireplaces and windows and the main parts of the building are essentially the same.”

As well as two restaurants in Bradford, the family have opened on the Curry Mile in Manchester; Leeds and Birmingham,

Shakoor said: “We have been selective as to where we open and the sites we open at.

“Blackburn itself, we feel has a booming hospitality and restaurant market and there is good access to the surrounding towns and cities.

“Wherever we do choose to open we like to think we are adding to the local community and the area itself, by creating an amazing dining experience for customers, providing fulfilling career opportunities for local people, and contributing to local communities through our charitable and outreach work.

“It is not just a matter of launching anywhere. Here, we have found the area to be moving in the right direction.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The first MyLahore launched in Bradford in June 2002 and was the fruits of labour and ambitions of Farman Ali and Mohammed Farooq who arrived in the UK in 1964.

They had first bought a restaurant in 1984, and the family would later go on to launch the MyLahore brand.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The restaurant will employ up to 50 staff in full-time and part-time roles.

Shakoor said: “One of our biggest challenges have been rising costs but we have been quite positive when it comes to recruitment.

“We want to employ local people and ensure local people are leading the business.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

MyLahore remain one of the leading Asian wedding and event caterers in the North of England. Their much sought after service has seen them grow this side of the business in a very short space of time.

Shakoor added: “The catering business is going really well for us. Supplying places such as Stanley House helped us realise the demand for our particular service in the area.

“We’re also thrilled to now be exclusively managing the stunning Glass Marquee at Stanley House, without doubt one of the most unique venues in the locality.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Thanks to Shahzad Akber for additonal images