Restaurant which fell foul of Covid rules to get new start under brother
- Credit: Klodjan Xhaferrllari/ Archant
The younger brother of a former restaurateur who lost his licence after a Covid breach is thrilled to be taking over the business and giving it an "exciting" new identity.
Diamonds on 82 Upper St Giles Street in Norwich was stripped of its alcohol licence after councillors heard it breached national lockdown restrictions by serving food and drink to more than a dozen customers for a funeral commemoration.
But now Klodjan Xhaferrllari, a 21-year-old chef, is refashioning his older brother Olgert's "dream" Mediterranean cafe into "Lords Restaurant" - and has applied to Norwich City Council for permission to once again serve alcohol to customers.
Diamonds, Mr Xhaferrllari explained, never actually opened to the public before his brother had to step away from the business.
"My brother never got off his feet with Diamonds and it's a shame", Mr Xhaferrllari said. "He made a mistake but what happened happened.
"He invested so much money into this restaurant, so though he knew he could no longer be involved in running it he wanted to see it in a safe pair of hands.
"With a loan from my dad, who runs his own bakery and pizza shop in Albania, I then bought the restaurant off my brother. I'm going to completely turn it around and carry out my brother's dream.
"I'm really excited to rebrand it and get it up and running. People in Norwich are so friendly and welcoming."
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Mr Xhaferrllari, who came to Norwich from Albania last year, has just finished his training as a chef, and plans to be as present in the kitchen as he will be on the restaurant floor.
He explained: "At Lords we'll be serving steaks, three kinds of pizza and pasta and then seafood.
"I'm going to be in charge of everything, so I hope it all goes well."
Klodjan Xhaferrllari submitted the licensing application to the city council on May 17 on behalf of his company, Mediterranean Fine Dining Limited.
The last date for the public to comment on the plans is June 14.