Belfast Telegraph

The Bengal Brasserie II goes into administration after three months

By Margaret Canning

A well-known Indian restaurant business in south Belfast has gone into administration three months after it began trading.

Administrators Lismore & Co were appointed by the High Court on January 26 to take over the running of Bengal Brasserie II on the Lisburn Road.

The premises were developed and opened by restaurateur Nigel Rahman and his then-business partner Paul Blythe at the start of November.

Speaking at the time, Mr Rahman said the premises would be Ireland’s biggest restaurant, and represented a £2m investment in the city.

Mr Blythe left the business a short time after the opening.

Mr Rahman also operates the popular Bengal Brasserie on Ormeau Road, as well as two takeaway businesses in the same area.

Despite the administration notice, diners reported that the Lisburn Road restaurant was extremely busy on Saturday night.

But the Belfast Telegraph is aware of at least three contractors who have had problems securing payment for work carried out for Bengal Brasserie II.

Police were called to an incident at the restaurant shortly before 7pm on January 21, when it is believed a supplier visited to collect payment.

But a police spokeswoman said: “The incident was a civil law matter and no arrests were made.”

On Friday the administrators obtained an injunction in the High Court against Abbey Upholsterers in Carrickfergus, prohibiting anyone in the business from entering the Lisburn Road restaurant to remove furniture.

Another contractor said their business still had not been paid. “It’s crippling our business. The non-payment is causing huge problems for us. We completed our work in good faith and it is a very unfortunate situation.”

The Belfast Telegraph |telephoned the Lisburn Road restaurant yesterday, but was |informed that Mr Rahman was not available.

No-one from Lismore & Co was available for comment.

Mr Rahman is one of Belfast’s best known entrepreneurs. He moved to Belfast from Bangladesh with little or no English around 15 years ago, and started work in his cousin’s restaurant on Ormeau Road, which he then took over seven years ago.

Mr Rahman bought statues in Bangladesh to decorate the opulent interior of the Lisburn Road restaurant. He said he wanted the interior to combine “vibrant Indian street scenes with ultra modern design”.

The Bengal Brasserie Group also operates Indian bistro Cafe Naz and takeaway Zeera, also on the Ormeau Road — and there were plans to open a business in Newcastle, Co Down.

The other businesses, which include the Ormeau Road restaurant, are not affected by the administration.

Belfast Telegraph