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Family-run business forced to shut again as legal wrangle over premises continues
A Bradford restaurant, at the centre of a legal wrangle with receivers, has closed its doors for a second time.
The family-run Saffron Desi, in Leeds Road, has shut only three months after reaching a temporary court settlement to carry on trading.
The restaurant originally closed in July after receivers repossessed the property. Management, who rented the premises from a property company which entered receivership, said when they turned up they found the locks had been changed.
An agreement was reached, at a civil court hearing, between the Saffron Desi and the receivers, GVA, which allowed the restaurant to resume operations, subject to conditions.
But this week a Bradford firm of solicitors, who had booked a charity dinner event at the Saffron Desi for tonight discovered that it had closed.
More than 40 guests, including the former Recorder of Bradford, Judge James Stewart QC, and his successor, Judge Roger Thomas QC, were due to attend the event, organised by Wilson’s solicitors.
Yvonne Gibson, events and marketing manager for Wilson’s, said they had booked the venue early in October for a two-course meal. But she became concerned when she could not contact the restaurant by phone last week and drove down to find it had closed. She has now found an alternative venue for the event at Habib’s restaurant in Killinghall Road, Bradford.
She said: “I don’t think this has happened overnight. They must have known somewhere along the line. A phone call to let us know would not have gone amiss. I think it’s shabby, especially when it has been booked for a charity event.”
A man, who said he had worked as a waiter at the restaurant for a number of years, said: “It is quite upsetting. It was a thriving business with really good customers. But there are some issues over the building.”
GVA was unable to comment yesterday, but after the July settlement a spokesman said: “Legal proceedings between the restarauteur and the receivers regarding the occupation of the restaurant remain ongoing, and a further court hearing will be held in the coming months.”
Saffron Desi has apologised to Wilson’s. In a message to the firm, manager Adeel Khan said: “We have been shut down due to an issue with the landlords and bank. I would like to apologise on behalf of the Saffron Desi group for the fact we could not fulfil your booking.”