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Cafe plan for empty pavilion
9:11am Monday 16th June 2014 in News
A successful restaurateur hopes to turn the empty pavilion in Bradford's award-winning City Park into a cafe and restaurant.
Bradford entrepreneur Zulfi Hussain is hoping to plough a quarter of a million pounds into the business, creating at least 12 jobs.
The Council-owned building, just feet from the Mirror Pool, is described by the authority as having "what must be one of the best city-centre outlooks in the country".
Now it could become an eatery and takeaway, aptly called 'The Pavilion', if the idea gets planners' approval.
Dr Hussain, the co-owner of Indian restaurant Deeva in Farsley, Leeds, said: "I am very excited. This is a great opportunity, not just for me, but for Bradford."
He said subject to planning permission, he hoped to open the cafe in August, and that one of his plans was for theme nights serving a variety of street food.
He said: "I also want to support local artists and will be holding musical, art and poetry evenings in the cafe."
Dr Hussain has now applied for permission to change the use of the building and put up new signs.
In the application, Baildon-based architects Fineline Architectural Design Limited said an existing window could be converted into a serving hatch "for those who would like to grab a coffee whilst passing".
And it said Dr Hussain was keen to install a large door opening along the frontage "to enable the façade of the unit to benefit from the mirror pool adjacent, and in effect transform the unit into being part of ‘the outdoors’".
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for employment and culture, welcomed the proposal, saying: "Confidence in the city centre is growing by the day as the Westfield development takes shape."
The grass-roofed building houses the underground plant room from where the mirror pool's water and lights are controlled, as well as public toilets, but the right-hand part of the building has not yet had a permanent tenant.
The Council had originally planned to find a long-term commercial tenant back in 2012, shortly after City Park opened.
But this plan had to be put on ice when the Central Library was deemed no longer fit for purpose, and the pavilion was commandeered for a temporary children's library.
Once the children's library moved into its permanent home at the new City Library nearby, the 1,507 sq ft space became empty once again, and the Council started marketing the site for a five-year lease.
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