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5th June 2024 · Articles

Sachins showcases stunning interior makeover

Iconic Punjabi restaurant Sachins, located in the heart of Newcastle, has recently undergone an interior refurbishment as owner Bob Arora celebrates the well-known restaurant’s 40th anniversary. We speak to owner Bob Arora about the changing face of dining out and the reasons behind the restaurant’s makeover.

How have dining habits changed over the years?

Diners have certainly become more savvy over the years. There is increased competition, and with the influence of social media, it’s not just about the food but also the whole dining experience. People’s tastes have changed, and I find they are staying away from the creamy dishes with much interest in traditional Punjabi dishes. Some people still want to have the spiciest dish on the menu. I’ve been known to try and talk people out of it as they are expecting a traditional Jalfrezi, which ours certainly isn’t.

What prompted you to make over the restaurant’s interiors?

Last year, the restaurant turned 40. I’ve been playing around with all sorts of ideas, ranging from graffiti to local wall art with Indian influences—ideas that were met with differing degrees of enthusiasm! Luckily, I remembered reading about Beth at Bobo1325 and seeing some of her work. After meeting her, I knew she understood the restaurant, my vision, and what was needed to bring it up to date.

After meeting her, I knew she understood the restaurant, my vision, and what was needed to bring it up to date

How do you think the changing trends in dining habits influenced your decision to update the restaurant’s look?

It comes back to social media and the whole dining experience. Before people even eat their food, most people are desperate to take a picture. Everything has to be Instagram-worthy: the venue, the presentation, the aesthetics. Our diners now have amazing hand-drawn wall art along with our edgy neon signs, new furniture, and new cutlery. We are ready for Sachin’s next chapter.

What was your inspiration for the new-look restaurant?

I remember my grandad’s house in India having peacock feathers in the front room, and I was always intrigued by them. On a recent trip away, I saw a white peacock, which is extremely rare, and it took me right back. Recounting the story to Beth, she decided to use the peacock for the booth. Instead of calling it ‘the booth,’ people now ask for the peacock table!

Table in an Indian restaurant with a peacock mural on the wall.

The Peacock Table is proving very popular with customers!

You collaborated with North-East based wallpaper designer Beth Travers from Bobo1325 to bring your design to life. How did Bobo 1325 make your ideas a reality?

My thoughts were something lavish and opulent, with colours that encapsulated the spices and materials in India that cocooned the diner. Beth came up with the idea of the jungle theme – maximalist and on-trend. Also, the idea of incorporating the existing Sachins flower logo and an extremely cool design into screening, letting light shine through and providing some privacy for diners.

Are there any specific features or elements in the new design that will resonate well with your customers?

Everyone who’s seen the new look has all said the same thing. The new look is uber cool, and the new chairs and colour are also very calming and relaxing. At first, I wasn’t on board with Beth’s choice of wall colour, but after getting another nine different colours to try on a wall, her original choice was definitely the best. Trust the process!

My thoughts were something lavish and opulent, with colours that encapsulated the spices and materials in India that cocooned the diner

How will the updated interior enhance the dining experience for your customers?

I know our team are proud of the restaurant’s new look. Every customer who has seen the new look is very complimentary about the work. People are blown away when they find out that Beth has hand-drawn all of the art. It took her nearly three months to do it all. Seeing the detail is amazing – you see something new every time you look at it.

In what ways do you hope the new look will set your restaurant apart in today’s competitive dining scene?

I wanted to create something totally different from every other Indian restaurant and I think between Beth and I, we have achieved that. We’ve created the perfect ambience in which to enjoy Punjabi cuisine. Not many restaurants have been around for 41 years, but here we are. Ready to take on our next 41 years.

For more information on Sachins visit www.sachins.co.uk

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