Blackburn’s new Turkish restaurant in the old music store

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A new Turkish restaurant in Blackburn town center is set to open in time for Christmas and New Years after getting building permission.

The Istanbul Restaurant and Bar will occupy the premises of the former Reidy’s music store on Nab Lane, near Blackburn College, the city’s sports and recreation center and the new Reel Cinema.

Part of a fast growing chain, it will have 55 tables and will seat up to 220 diners with more space in the downstairs bar.

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Work can now begin to fit out after planners in Blackburn and Darwen City Council approved the new restaurant project.

News of the decision was greeted by Tony Duckworth, president of the Blackburn and District Chamber of Trade.

It comes after the statue of former Blackburn MP and Cabinet Minister Barbara Castle was unveiled in the new Jubilee Square across from the college as part of the Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage project funded in part by the National Lottery to create a restaurant , a bar and leisure area.

A report by planning officer Nick Blackledge states: “The proposal site is located in close proximity to the Grade II listed College of Technology and Design and Grade II King George’s Hall. Overall, the proposal will not cause any damage to the character or appearance of the Northgate Conservation Area, nor to the setting’s contribution to the significance of Grade II listed buildings.

Blackburn with Darwen’s board regeneration boss, Councilor Phil Riley, said: “This is great news. It’s another piece of the puzzle that will make Jubilee Square and Blakey Moor an attractive place for hospitality.

Mr Duckworth said: “It’s good to see people occupying these reception areas. I wish the Istanbul restaurant every success in Blackburn. Progress is being made on the Blakey Moor / Northgate side of town. I hope it will continue.”

A spokesperson for The Atrium Group confirmed that the granting of the building permit meant the restaurant was on schedule for a pre-Christmas opening.

The restaurant will have 33 tables for four in a downstairs dining room next to a bar with seven tables for two and 15 bar stools. There will be a mezzanine with 22 other tables.

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