The owners of a Stawell restaurant will open their newest venture in Horsham this week.
Leesha and Malavika "Guna" Gunaseelan will serve a fusion of Indian and Western meals by takeaway from their space in the town hall from Wednesday September 16th. They begin preparing from Thursday.
The couple has run the Stawell National Hotel's in-house restaurant since July 2019.
Guna, an internationally-trained chef, said the couple had decided to expand to Horsham to establish themselves in a larger community.
"We think this is a good spot: It's very easy for us to reach more people in here," he said.
"We got a good response in Stawell, so we thought we could continue (in Horsham)."
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had delayed Rooh's opening by around three months.
"The (Horsham Rural City) council has given us support throughout this process," he said.
"We were supposed to open in March or April, so when the pandemic started... they gave us financial support (allowing them to be) rent-free.
"I think this is a good time to open: People are not going out for work and most are eating from home, so if they are getting takeaway maybe they can try something different.
Mrs Gunaseelan said the restaurant's name was Rooh, which means "Spirit" or "Soul".
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"It's a positive energy," she said.
Once pandemic restrictions lift, the couple wants to hire staff and introduce an all-day dining experience for visitors.
In April, the couple announced the National Hotel would provide free meals to those in need.
The space, facing Pynsent Street, had been vacant since March 2018, after baa 3400 restaurant moved to the lower level of Horsham's International Hotel on Baillie Street.
Horsham Rural City Council owns and operates the Town Hall building.
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