AN apparently popular restaurant has closed down – much to the surprise of its regulars.
The Red. Lounge and Grill on London Road, Cowplain, officially closed for business on August 27.
A sign has been posted on the front of the building to advise locals of its closure.
The Indian restaurant is part of a chain and was opened seven years ago by Portsmouth entrepreneur Kaz Miah.
Chef Kaz now owns various restaurants including Kassia in Southsea.
The Red. Lounge was Kaz’s first restaurant and regulars expressed their shock on social media when they discovered that it had closed.
Kaz said: ‘We have had a lot of people asking us why. It has nothing to do with money.
‘Since opening Red. Lounge I’ve opened many other bars and restaurants because I like to keep things fresh and exciting.
‘With my businesses, I like to move with the times.‘
Kaz added that the restaurant closing was not due to a decline in business. Instead, the restaurateur says he wants to re-open the site but under a new concept.
Kaz said: ‘The Red. Lounge was becoming too repetitive.
‘I feel as though the people living in that area do not have a lot of options.
‘If the ladies want to dress up and go for a cocktail and a night out, they have to jump in a taxi and head into Southsea.
‘Local people in this area make do with what is available to them on their doorstep.
‘If you’re going to the same place once a week in a small place like Cowplain, it loses its “wow” factor.’
‘The Red. Lounge was a nice place to eat but, for me, although it was very popular it had served its purpose.
‘I’m looking to refurbish the venue in the future and bring an exciting new concept to the people of Waterlooville. Somewhere that they can have a nice cocktail and listen to good music.’
Kaz, who lives in the Waterlooville area, recently opened his latest restaurant Zayns in Cosham.
Kaz said: ‘All of my businesses are evolving and I want to invest more money into the area and introduce a bigger concept to Cowplain.’