Evicted St Albans restaurant looking at two alternative premises

Furniture piled up outside Veer Dhara restaurant

Furniture piled up outside Veer Dhara restaurant - Credit: Archant

Two sites are under consideration to ensure that a popular city centre restaurant, forced to close by its landlord, can reopen as soon as possible.

Veer Dhara in St Peter’s Street, St Albans, shut down at the end of last month after bailiffs were sent in by the former occupiers and leaseholders of the building, Pizza Hut, in a dispute over rent.

Late last week Veer Dhara took all its furniture out of the building just before the deadline imposed by Pizza Hut to remove goods and equipment from the premises.

There is still a dispute over £2,500-worth of items including frozen food and stainless steel catering containers which have gone missing since the restaurant closed. It has been raised with Pizza Hut.

The restaurant has decided not to contest the eviction because of the length of time legal proceedings could take when the lease only runs until 2015.

The owner of Veer Dhara, Darshit Singh Hora, said this week that the restaurant was currently looking at two alternative sites – one in Marshalswick and the second a few yards from the existing restaurant.

He said: “I will be able to confirm within four weeks from now where we stand.”

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When the restaurant reopened, he went on, the first phase would be takeaways only and three months later, after refurbishment, the dine-in operation would restart.

Mr Hora’s solicitor Luke Harrison from solicitors Debenham Ottaway said this week that Mr Hora and his father, who provided the financial backing for the business, were very committed to continuing to invest in St Albans for which they had a lot of affection.

They wanted to retain a restaurant in the city because of their very loyal staff and head chef who had worked for them for a long time and the support they had received on social media, he added.