A Dundee restaurateur has been left fuming after her proposal for a restaurant in the basement of the Caird Hall was rejected because it did not fit with the “vision for the Waterfront”.
Donna Ghatak, who runs the Shaheen takeaway in the Nethergate with her husband Sanat, submitted proposals to Dundee City Council to open a curry house in one of the units behind the building.
Despite receiving encouragement from the council — and being asked to sign a guarantee they would pay all staff at least the Scottish Living Wage of £8.45 — they were told their plans had been rejected.
Donna said they entered into discussions about opening a restaurant a year ago, when the council advertised for businesses to run cafes or restaurants in the units in Shore Terrace.
She claimed they were then told their proposal was “not part of (director of city development) Mike Galloway’s vision for the Waterfront”.
She said: “We were hoping to open an Indian restaurant and had visions of a really classy one.
“Because it was going to be part of the Caird Hall we envisaged having photographs of the people who had performed there, because that is part of Dundee’s heritage.”
The St Andrews Brewing Co is set to sign a lease for two of the units and plans to develop a £1 million pub and restaurant, creating 50 jobs in the process.
Donna said she believed Dundee companies should have been given preference.
She said: “It was supposed to be for local businesses. I know St Andrews isn’t far away but it isn’t exactly local.”
A council spokesman said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on any individual commercial negotiation.”