Veer Dhara restaurant returning to St Albans - updated
PUBLISHED: 13:10 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:17 14 August 2014
Popular Indian restaurant Veer Dhara is set to reopen in St Albans having taken a new lease of the Liberal Club in Hatfield Road - formerly the site of Kashu and Aqua restaurants.
A city centre restaurant which closed in dramatic circumstances earlier this year is to reopen on another prime St Albans site.
Veer Dhara had been in St Peter’s Street for around six years when it was served with a notice of repossession by the leaseholders Pizza Hut in February.
Now it is about to reopen at the Liberal Club in Hatfield Road - formerly occupied by Kashu and Aqua restaurants – with a new 25-year lease which should give it stability into the future.
Veer Dhara hit the headlines in August 2012 when Hollywood legend Tom Cruise visited with his entourage while filming at Leavesden Studios in Watford.
The actor was understood to have travelled 15 miles to dine at the restaurant after it was recommended to him.
When the notice of eviction was served in February, the restaurant owners, brothers Darshit and Haritpal Singh Hora, considered taking legal action but decided instead to instruct their solicitors, Debenhams Ottaway, to acquire a permanent base in St Albans.
The new restaurant is to start trading with a takeaway service from tomorrow followed by a full opening in September.
Darshit came to England in 2008 to study law at the then University of Herts law faculty in St Albans and opened the St Peter’s Street restaurant shortly afterwards. His older brother Haritpal came to this country to set the restaurant up.
But even had Pizza Hut not sent in bailiffs, the St Peter’s Street lease was due to expire next year and Veer Dhara had to move.
Luke Tucker Parkinson, a partner at Debenham Ottaway, said: “They sought advice from us and what they have done with our assistance is find new premises and have taken a 25-year lease.
“It is in a good spot and they have ambitious plans to expand in due course but now they need to consolidate their first restaurant.”
He added: “It is great to see Veer Dhara open its doors again. A few months ago they were facing a lengthy legal battle but with some creative thinking we are glad to have get them up and running again.”
Darshit, whose family owns the Dharan Corporation in Indore, India, which has interests in mining, banking and hotels, is very attached to St Albans.
He said: “Our family has a real affection for St Albans and we knew that we owed it to the city to reopen the restaurant following its closure earlier in the year. This time we opted for a permanent base.”