Ashleys in The Tything to remain big part of city food scene
An Indian restaurant may be closing for sit-down meals, but a manager has set out a bold vision for it to become the premier takeaway in the city.
Over the years, Ashleys in The Tything have been enjoyed by generations of the same family, not to mention some international cricket legends.
READ MORE: Ashleys Indian restaurant becomes takeaway only
Monwar Khandokas, a manager at Ashleys, said customers had so far reacted with ‘very sadness’ to the news that the restaurant side of the business would close.
Diners will no longer be able to sit down for a meal from Monday 27 February.
Mr. Khandokas himself was just 21 or 22 when his family took over the restaurant and feels he grew up with the business – and saw many of his customers grow up too.
The 38-year-old said: “Customers have seen us grow up. A lot of customers we’ve seen come with their little ones who now tower over us. Ashleys is a family tradition. It’s a generational thing.”
Ashleys were visited by Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh cricket captain, Worcester Warriors and film crews from Sky Sports.
Ashleys, who already had a well-established takeaway business producing 70 per cent of their trade, will extend the takeaway delivery range from three miles to five miles with the aim of including Worcester, Norton and Kempsey.
Mr Khandokas said: “We’re excited about the opportunities. That’s the only way to look at it. It’s the end of an era but we’re excited about this new venture. We don’t want to be run of the mill . We’ve never been to the restaurant and we want to look at ways to make it the best possible experience. We want to be the best takeaway in Worcester, the premier Indian takeaway in the city.”
This is expected to involve a refurbishment of the waiting area at Ashleys which will remain on its current basis with a new seating area where people can enjoy a cup of coffee and board games while waiting to collect their order.
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One of the things he hopes is that customers, past and present, will share their memories and photos of Ashleys on the business’s Facebook page so they can celebrate the restaurant.
The change was partly blamed on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising costs for the business, the ability to recruit and retain staff with the skill level required and more people choosing to eat at home.
A comment book was also left for customers to share their memories of the restaurant that has been serving customers for around 30 years.