A huge new 250-seater Turkish restaurant has opened close to Blackburn town centre.

The Istanbul Restaurant has launched at the site of the former Reidy’s music store on Nab Lane, next to Blackburn College, close to the Blakey Moor regeneration area.

It is the fourth Istanbul Restaurant to open in the region with branches in Bradford, Huddersfield and Manchester.

The seating is spread over the ground floor and much like the Manchester venue in Cheetham Hill, it is deceptively spacious despite first looks from the outside.

Owner Kazim Erdogan said the renovations to the site had taken longer than planned but he was delighted with the final look.

He said: “Yes, we get that a lot. People come in and see this huge restaurant and are really impressed with what we have done with the place.

“It took about a year for all the building work to complete. There was a lot work to do and the interior has been completely renovated.

"All the special fittings were imported to give it that unique look.

“We opened in the summer and the response has been good.

“We chose Blackburn as we had a lot of people coming from this side of Lancashire to our Manchester location.”

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The venture has created 23 new jobs in full and part-time roles.

The interior work features a kitchen and service counter and bar taking up one whole side.

Diners can see into the kitchen area to watch their dishes being prepared, while floor-to-ceiling glass windows around much of the restaurant allow in plenty of natural light through the day.

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Kazim said: “This is authentic Turkish cuisine and we have some the best chefs around.

“As the popularity of our other location shows, we have some fantastic dishes on offer you may not be able to get anywhere else.”

The menu features mixed platters, jumbo platters and a gigantic full platter as well as a host of signature dishes such as traditional kebabs and Turkish style pizzas.

The ‘Istanbul Specials’ include lamb and chicken doners, lamb shanks and the Islim kebab (diced lamb cubes).

The charcoal grills feature kofte kebabs, shish kebabs and lamb ribs. Also, on the menu are an array of seafood and vegetarian options and a bar area showcases a variety of non-alcoholic drinks.

A special prayer area has also been set aside for customers.

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The Istanbul Restaurant is the largest halal restaurant in Blackburn

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Many of the meals are reasonable priced and it was something Kazim said he had been keen with from the very beginning on all their ventures.

He added: “The thing that sets us apart is our extensive menu featuring of the highest quality Turkish cuisine.

“As we were able to build our kitchen areas to our requests we were able to accommodate an in house bakery. The bread and naans are cooked fresh.

“We are family friendly and welcome larger groups. Already we had a group of 50 attend one function. 

"The weekend evenings have been really busy and it has been great seeing the whole place full.

"We are open from 11.30am till 11pm every day and have recently launched a new offer at lunch time with 15 per cent off."

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