Next Phase Of Bigg Market Redevelopment - Indian Restaurant Immortalised In Viz Comic Gets Makeover


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As part of the ongoing Bigg Market rejuvenation Project, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, NE1 Ltd is pleased to announce that the latest property to receive a grant for restorative repairs is 26 Cloth Market – more famously known as the iconic restaurant, Koh-I-Noor. The restaurant which celebrates its 50th year in business this year was immortalised in the adult comic Viz in the 1980s and even starred in the Viz film.


The work starts today, Monday 2 September.  The construction programme will see the existing shop front fascia removed and taken back to structural openings before the eventual installation of a traditional shop front befitting the building’s history and heritage.

The works will include; the reinstatement of stall risers, the introduction of carved pilasters, decorative consoles, full height arched windows and new signage, all in keeping with the Newcastle City Council guidance: Shop Fronts in the Historic Environment.

The work is anticipated to take between 3-4 weeks and will continue the progression of improvements to the Cloth Market, which has seen work undertaken at Pumphreys, as well as the transformation of number 2 Cathedral Square into the impressive Revolucion de Cuba.  Koh-I-Noor will remain open for business during the works.

The timing of this project has some added significance as the restaurant (established in 1969) is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Current owner Mr Abdul Wali has owned the business for the past 20 years.  He is delighted that the work is starting on his premises, said “There is a lot of refurbishment and construction work going on in the area and NE1 are doing a very good job here. The famous Bigg Market will come back with a lot of new bars, restaurants and cafes and this is already starting to happen.”

NE1 Ltd’s Bigg Market Project Manager, Alex Slack said:
“26 Cloth Market has always been one of the key deliverables for this project, The Cloth Market has seen the worst of the decline over recent years and with recent improvements to Pumphreys and the arrival of newcomer The Market Shaker,it is great to be able to progress work along the street. 26 Cloth Market is a beautiful building but the existing shop front belies this, the installation of appropriate period features and the reinstatement of windows will breathe new life into the property and contribute to an ever-improving streetscape. Mr Wali has been a great supporter of the project since day one so we are delighted he has committed to these improvements”

Mawson Kerr architects has led on the design work which will be implemented by contractor Historic Property Restoration, Managing Director of HPR John Gibson said; “HPR are pleased to be commencing works to 26 Cloth Market, with the imminent completion of the Victorian WC’s this marks the next chapter in the wider regeneration of the area”.

For more updates on the project please visit

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