Bid to re-open Ajanta's - 18 months after pandemic forced closure of Sheffield vegetarian restaurant

Bosses at a Sheffield restaurant which was closed by the coronavirus pandemic are hoping to return to business, 17 months on.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 10:29 am

The vegan Ajanta’s restaurant, which had been on Abbeydale Road, closed in October 2020, six months after the Covid lockdowns were first put in place that year.

But today they revealed how they have launched a crowdfunding bid to get back in business, initially with a take-away operation.

They closed down in 2020 because of the combination of the effects of the lockdowns on the catering industry, and problems securing a long term lease. It had already had to move location earlier in the year.

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Bosses at Ajanta's, in Sheffield, which was closed by the coronavirus pandemic, are hoping to return to business, 17 months on. Pictured is the former venue on Abbeydale Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

Under the plans, anyone putting money into the crowdfunding appeal will receive food when Ajanta’s returns to business, with food provided at a higher value than the money they pledge. For instance, a £20 pledge would receive £30 worth of food.

Anyone pledging £100 would receive a meal at their home for six.

Declan McGuill, a member of the family who run Ajanta’s, who is organising the funding campaign, said: “As a new venture with limitless enthusiasm but limited finances, we really tried our best to keep going as the effects of the pandemic took hold.

“But faced with all the disruption and uncertainty of one lockdown after another, unable to secure the lease on suitable premises or invest in a properly equipped professional kitchen, we eventually took the painful decision to close.

“After so many months of hard work it was a very sad day.

“But, despite the adversity and setbacks, we were determined to stay positive and come back at some point.”

They initially plan to secure a long-term lease on a kitchen to use as a base for a takeaway business. The goal is to eventually step up to be a restaurant again.

The plan at the Indian vegetarian business is to concentrate on healthy food, which is also tasty. They hope to find a premises in the Graves Park area.

They are hoping to raise £10,000 in the next month, and already have over £500 in pledges.

Anyone who wants to pledge a donation can do so on by logging onto https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/ajantas-vegetarian.