Restaurant opens at iconic Kettering hotel

L-R: Rakesh Patel, Cllr James Burton and Raj Punni at the ribbon cutting. NNL-180322-132111005
L-R: Rakesh Patel, Cllr James Burton and Raj Punni at the ribbon cutting. NNL-180322-132111005

A recently refurbished Kettering hotel steeped in history opened the doors to its restaurant today (Thursday).

The Royal Hotel in Market Place will now sell food and drink from its Royal Restaurant and bar.

Rakesh Patel in the restaurant. NNL-180322-132045005

Rakesh Patel in the restaurant. NNL-180322-132045005

The hotel fell into disrepair before it was taken over by businessman Raj Punni and refurbished at a cost of about £350,000 so far.

Manager Rakesh Patel said: “We took over last year and there was a lot of damage.

“We have put a lot of work in and a lot of people have a lot of memories here, many have had weddings and occasions in the hotel.

“A lot of people still see the hotel as a building that has gone and we want them to know that we’re here and back in business.”

Diners are able to sit under the historic dome ceiling in the restaurant, which can seat about 50 people.

It will be open from 11am to 11pm seven days a week and will serve a range of food including curries, burgers, pasta dishes and pub classics.

Mr Patel added: “We welcome anyone who wants to come and have some good food and revisit the memories they have here.”

The ribbon to open the venue was officially cut by Kettering’s deputy mayor Cllr James Burton, who has fond memories of the hotel himself.

He recalled being the page boy at his auntie’s wedding there and collecting Champagne corks.

He said: “This is long overdue and I look forward to the rest of the building being brought back into its original state.

“There are lots of eateries in Kettering but not many with as much history as this.

“This is good for Kettering and good for the people of the borough.”

Since the hotel was bought by Mr Punni 29 rooms are now functioning.

Six more will be bought back into use next week and a further two the week after.

Mr Patel added that most of the rooms are being used, many by businessmen visiting the town.

Local businessman Kamal Paul said: “It is brilliant to see a businessman from the Punjab region in India take on an historic building and bring it back into use.”