Balti restaurant closes


One of Birmingham’s original Balti restaurants will close after 45 years

The restaurant, Saleem’s, is situated in Ladypool, Road Sparkbrook. Co-owner Saleem Waheed has stated the closure is “like bereavement”.

Saleem’s has beaten all the odds to stay open, including re-opening after being damaged by the freak tornado of 2005. Sadly it is due to close permanently after falling trade.

His late father Abdul opened the Ladypool Road Pakistani restaurant in 1971, “we were the very first Balti Triangle restaurant in the Ladypool Road and ten to 15 years later others started opening up,” he said. “There were 25 to 30 at one time but now there are only seven or eight left. We built up a real following, with customers from all over the world.”

Waheed recalls celebrity guests such as Robert Plant from band UB40.

“We have had three generations of customers in my lifetime here, brilliant memories. We have a UK-wide following; we have international customers who come back straight back here when they visit the area.

“We have had a great time with very loyal customers.

After being hit by a tornado in 2005 the restaurant was closed for five months. After renovating the entire building and re-laying the dining room they were able to open again.

The diner, which also makes its own sweets, will shut for good on November 2nd.

 “It’s down to declining trade really and the recession has not helped.

“There’s too much competition – you get a lot of franchises around here now and they are putting on cheap and cheerful food.

“The trade around here is mostly clothing shops and it doesn’t bring the customers in.

“The area has declined in recent years and customers are going to Moseley village.”

Saleem, who has run the restaurant alongside his brother Rafique, said he was considering re-opening elsewhere possibly in six months.


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