Fit for a pharaoh: Manchester’s mega curry house

Plans have been drawn up for an Indian hospitality venue on the edge of Manchester that would be Europe’s largest restaurant, with the capacity to seat up to 1,500 guests over four floors.

Royal Nawaab, the company behind the project, already operates a 500-cover restaurant and banqueting suite in the iconic Art Deco Hoover Building, beside the M40 at Perivale on the western outskirts of London.

It now wants to take over the Pyramid, the vast glass former Co-op Bank HQ built in 1992 beside the M60 in Stockport that has been empty for five years. Plans being considered by Stockport council show a main restaurant with 350 covers and three separate banqueting suites accommodating 700, 300 and 150 guests.

Royal Nawaab was founded by Mahboob Hussain, the former manager of Yorkshire textile factory who switched to hospitality in 1987 when he opened his first restaurant in Bradford. Speaking of the Pyramid, he says he is “hoping to breathe much needed life into this iconic building” with an “unforgettable dining experience“.

Royal Nawaab is known in the northwest for its Levenshume venue, which was rebranded this year as Merzee after Mahboob sold his stake. The Royal Nawaab restaurants in Perivale and Ilford operate as 100% halal and alcohol-free buffets charging diners £26.95 a head.

At present, the UK’s largest restaurant is Za Za Bazaar in Bristol, which can sit 1,000 – a total matched by La Felicita, run by the Big Mama Group in Paris. On a global level, all are dwarfed by the 5,000-capacity West Lake restaurant in Hunan, China, and by Bawabet Dimashq (or Damascus Gate) in Syria, which can apparently accommodate 6,014 covers, although most are seated outdoors.

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