New Preston Mowgli restaurant plans expansive outdoor dining area

A highly anticipated restaurant plans to add a bigger outdoor dining area when it finally opens in Preston city centre.

Mowgli Street Food is due to open next month at Miller Arcade once a sweeping transformation of the former French Connection store has been completed. The chain specializes in authentic Indian cuisine based on dishes actually eaten at home and on the street.

A planning application for an outdoor dining area was filed in May only to be quickly withdrawn. However, that wasn’t the end of the plans, with the owners instead expanding their ambitions to create a wider offering. The now discontinued application covered a dining area consisting of 22 seats, seven tables, movable umbrellas, cafe barriers, movable pyramid gas patio heaters, and a bus/server station.

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A spokesperson told LancsLive: “We are resubmitting our license application for a slightly larger area which should give us a bit more outdoor seating. This will not affect our opening date.”

The restaurant is the brainchild of Nisha Katona, of Ormskirk, and has already established sites across the country, including Manchester and Liverpool. Opening a branch in Preston has been eagerly awaited for years, but the process has not been smooth as first anticipated after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK.

Nisha revealed in September 2021 that she had signed a lease to open in Preston, which she described as “a city that is so close to my heart”. Mowgli’s life began in 2014 when Nisha, following her passion, wanted to open an Indian restaurant that deviating from British curry stereotypes inspired her to pursue her dreams.

She left her 20-year career as a lawyer and worked hard to establish the first Mowgli restaurant in Liverpool before establishing the Manchester branch a year later. In 2018, Mowgli earned a spot on The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list, with Nisha being recognized with an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honors List for Services to the Food Industry.

The Preston Restaurant is due to open for the first time on July 11.

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