This Manchester taxi firm loved their neighbouring restaurant so much, that when it faced closure they decided to take it on themselves!

StreetCars, based in Manchester’s Gay Village, loved the grub served up by the Jasmine restaurant nestled beneath its offices on Sackville Street. So when the previous restaurant owner decided he didn’t want to continue with the lease, bosses of the taxi firm decided they would simply take it on themselves.

They had fallen in love with the food from head chef Alex Alsahli, and didn’t want to lose his skill and talent in the city. They are now planning a relaunch and rebrand of the restaurant as Jasmine Grill, offering an extended menu of Alex’s eclectic mix of cuisine.

StreetCars boss Naveed Arshad said: “Our family and staff have regularly been going to the restaurant since Alex has been chef, and we know how good the food is.

“We own the building anyway, so when the previous owner was looking to leave we thought: ‘why don’t we take over?’

“We believe with our social media team we can help to really build the business for the restaurant. It was already busy anyway with passing and returning trade, but we can really get the message out there about how good the food is.”

While Jasmine was predominantly Lebanese cuisine, at the new-look Jasmine Grill Alex will also explore a wider range of world cuisine for a new fusion menu as well as the Lebanese dishes he is known for.

Think freshly grilled meats and skewers, pizzas cooked in the clay oven and a range of freshly-made desserts.

Naveed said: “We believe we are bringing something unique to Manchester as there aren’t many other Lebanese restaurants. Certainly in this area there are not that many other sit-down restaurants at all. And when the food is this good, people come back.”

Street cars take over Jasmine

The team are now busy refreshing the interiors and exteriors of the restaurant, which sits on the corner of Richmond Street in the Village, which has two levels for dining. They will relaunch to the public on Monday 15th July.

And as an added incentive to give the new Jasmine Grill a try, the venue will be offering free parking at the restaurant for those driving in to the city centre (at the multi-storey car park next door).

The restaurant investment is the latest development amid a busy year of expansion for StreetCars.

The taxi firm, which first started in the city centre in 2002, now employs 160 office staff as well as a team of over 700 drivers.  They recently secured high profile contracts as the official private hire firm at Manchester Airport, and a new contract with the intu Trafford Centre.

Jasmine Grill will open from Monday 15th July, and opening times will be 12noon to 11pm Monday to Thursday; Friday 12noon to 12am; Saturday 12noon to 1am; and Sunday 12noon to 11pm.

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