Popular Indian restaurant closes after 33 years on Leeds independent scene

For more than 30 years they have been serving stars of soap and stage on a Saturday night but now Hansa and Kishor Dhabi are looking forward to a night out of their own.

By Emma Ryan
Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:42 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:49 pm
Kishor and Hansa Dabhi pictured outside their restaurant during the 30th birthday celebrations in 2016.

This weekend they will hang up the aprons at their restaurant, Hansa's on North Street in the city centre, for the last time after a closing party on Saturday afternoon.

The couple are retiring after 33 years at the helm of what is thought to be the city's longest running independent Indian restaurant.

Kishor said: "We are quite anxious but like everything else things have to move on and we will still carry on with the rest of our lives. We are taking a back seat to enjoy other things that we have missed out on over the last 32 years. The social life has suffered because we have been entertaining everyone else.

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One of the images used in Hansa's cook book.

"It will be amazing for us to go out on a Saturday night and do what normal people do. That is something we will love to do and spend time with our children and grandchildren as we have missed so many social occasions because of running the restaurant."

Hansa's opened in 1986 and was the first pure vegetarian restaurant serving food like they do in the state of Gujurat in India. Over the years the restaurant has won many awards and Hansa has written two cookbooks.

They have served soap stars including Nick Miles, who is Jimmy from Emmerdale, and a regular customer.

He said: "Leeds has lost a proud gem in it’s restaurant crown."

Hansa's Indian Restaurant on North Street.

However, food fans can still have a taste of Hansa's cuisine as she will continue with her cookery schools as her retirement activity.

Kishor added: "It has been a real privilege to be part of the Leeds scene."

The closing party on Saturday starts at 4pm and will be attended by customers, family and friends as well as the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Graham Latty and MP Fabian Hamilton.

Donations will be collected for St Gemma's Hospice and Hansa's will double the amount raised.