A POPULAR restaurant has enjoyed a successful relaunch following an extensive refurbishment.

Zyka, the stylish Indian restaurant on Priestpopple in Hexham, reopened for dining in May for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Miah brothers, who own the business, chose not to open in line with other restaurants last summer, because they felt the premises needed to be enlarged and enhanced.

Instead, they kept only the kitchen open for takeaways, while embarking on an exciting refit of both upstairs and downstairs dining areas.

The once prominent bar area has been neatly relocated into an alcove, creating much more space, while there are now toilet facilities on both floors, including a disabled convenience on the ground floor.

The refit has been designed by head chef, Khaled Miah, who has taken inspiration from all corners of India, while there are different themes to suit all tastes.

Parts of the original stone, brickwork and timber have been exposed, while other walls are adorned with retro-inspired designs and artwork.

There’s a distinctive colour scheme which includes chandeliers and a subtle tube lighting feature, there’s even a dedicated booth for couples in a themed forest room.

“It’s sophisticated décor,” said Khaled. “I have taken inspiration from restaurant experiences throughout my life and added my own touch.

“We’re really happy with it and are ready for this new chapter. What we have achieved has been well received by customers and we are so happy to be welcoming them back.”

Khaled, who runs the restaurant alongside brothers Rashid and Mashuk, added: “We’ve had incredible support from our customers over the past 14 months.

“They have been very understanding, and we want to reward them with a wonderful dining experience in our new-look restaurant.

“We’ve always had high standards, but we’ve launched a new menu and brought the food to a new level of presentation and flavour enhancements.

“The food is very creative, but people need to come and taste it and see the restaurant for themselves.”

The brothers previously ran the restaurant alongside another in South Tyneside, but now they are fully concentrating their efforts on the Hexham venture.

Khaled added: “We look forward to welcoming customers both new and old and appreciate their feedback.

“We have worked hard to make the restaurant Covid safe by maximising the space, and that has also enhanced the dining experience.

Call (01434) 600333, visit zykahexham.com, facebook.com/zyka.hexham, or facebook.com/khaledskitchenhexham.