Godfather owners buy HSBC building in Darwen

Blackburn Citizen: The former HSBC building The former HSBC building

THE owners of a takeaway, bar and restaurant business in Darwen have bought the former HSBC bank in the town.

Shaz and Keyvan Fani, who own the Godfather takeaway and adjoining Amalfi Lounge restaurant and cocktail bar in Duckworth Street, have bought the historic building.

And although the sale has not fully gone through, it appears the move will officially scupper the town council’s plans to open a heritage centre in the former bank in The Circus.

Once the sale is complete the Fanis said they would investigate a variety of options for the future of the building, but pledged that it would not be turned into a takeaway.

Shaz said: “It is sold subject to contract, so we are nearly there now.

“The purchase is an investment for the future really.

“We have a lot of options on the table and we are discussing things with councillors and retailers, so the jury is still out.”

Mr Fani said it was likely the building would be rented out to a tenant, but they may decide to set up a business, although it would be separate from the Amalfi Lounge and The Godfather.

He said: “It will definitely not become a takeaway and the building will come into use and provide an economic benefit to the town.”

Meanwhile, Coun Brian Taylor, who has been leading the town council’s bid to open a heritage centre, said feedback from last week’s consultation was now being looked at.

He said: “Once all that is looked at we will have another look at it and see where we go from there.

“Obviously losing the building was a blow but we will continue to look for a new venue.”

Coun Taylor also responded to criticisms that arose from the meeting, where he was accused of refusing to answer questions during the consultation at Darwen Academy.

He said: “I said at the start of the meeting that the time to ask questions was when they were sat in groups with the council officers who were there.

“I did not want to answer any questions myself because I don’t want to dictate how this is going to run.

“All we want to do is facilitate getting Darwen Heritage Centre off the ground and then pass it on to a trust.

“It is not up to me what happens next or how it is run going foward.”

Comments (15)

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4:14pm Fri 21 Feb 14

newrad83 says...

Again you are told we could ask questions. We couldn't. We were given 3 questions to answer by a member of council staff and also when we tried to ask anything we were told "we're not here to discuss where it's going to be" It was pointless, not a public consultation at all but an opportunity for councillors to vent their frustration on each other!
Again you are told we could ask questions. We couldn't. We were given 3 questions to answer by a member of council staff and also when we tried to ask anything we were told "we're not here to discuss where it's going to be" It was pointless, not a public consultation at all but an opportunity for councillors to vent their frustration on each other! newrad83
  • Score: 9

4:29pm Fri 21 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

Godfather do great pizza.
Godfather do great pizza. happycyclist
  • Score: 9

5:16pm Fri 21 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

newrad83 wrote:
Again you are told we could ask questions. We couldn't. We were given 3 questions to answer by a member of council staff and also when we tried to ask anything we were told "we're not here to discuss where it's going to be" It was pointless, not a public consultation at all but an opportunity for councillors to vent their frustration on each other!
Councilor Taylor why can't you have your heritage centre in the libary , that would save taxpayers thousands oh you can't do that can you ,, ,,, I know what the FANI family will do to this building and that is make it a great success , , like all there ventures ,, so wait and see,,, :)
[quote][p][bold]newrad83[/bold] wrote: Again you are told we could ask questions. We couldn't. We were given 3 questions to answer by a member of council staff and also when we tried to ask anything we were told "we're not here to discuss where it's going to be" It was pointless, not a public consultation at all but an opportunity for councillors to vent their frustration on each other![/p][/quote]Councilor Taylor why can't you have your heritage centre in the libary , that would save taxpayers thousands oh you can't do that can you ,, ,,, I know what the FANI family will do to this building and that is make it a great success , , like all there ventures ,, so wait and see,,, :) phil kernot
  • Score: 17

5:21pm Fri 21 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

Why bother going to these council meetings they can't answer straight questions at the best of time ,,, it's like living in Russia write your question they read it then maybe thay will answer it or maybe thay won't lol ,,
Why bother going to these council meetings they can't answer straight questions at the best of time ,,, it's like living in Russia write your question they read it then maybe thay will answer it or maybe thay won't lol ,, phil kernot
  • Score: 11

2:52pm Sat 22 Feb 14

hasnutts says...

The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!!
The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!! hasnutts
  • Score: 18

3:01pm Sat 22 Feb 14

hasslem hasslem says...

just what darwen needs - another sub-standard pap food joint

does anybody actually cook in darwen?
just what darwen needs - another sub-standard pap food joint does anybody actually cook in darwen? hasslem hasslem
  • Score: -15

5:26pm Sat 22 Feb 14

mmickk says...

hasnutts wrote:
The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!!
I will take your word for this but this council is only interested in wasting money this would save money and involve common sense something that they are not capable of. I think the whole point is to chase rainbows hoping everyone thinks they are doing something.
[quote][p][bold]hasnutts[/bold] wrote: The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!![/p][/quote]I will take your word for this but this council is only interested in wasting money this would save money and involve common sense something that they are not capable of. I think the whole point is to chase rainbows hoping everyone thinks they are doing something. mmickk
  • Score: 4

10:24am Sun 23 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

hasnutts wrote:
The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!!
Good comment. Plenty of parking and easy access, too.
[quote][p][bold]hasnutts[/bold] wrote: The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!![/p][/quote]Good comment. Plenty of parking and easy access, too. happycyclist
  • Score: 6

3:19pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Temporarily overseas says...

I hope it won't end up as another Pound Shop or cheap clothing shop with a 'Sale - We are Closing Down' permanently emblazoned on the windows.
I hope it won't end up as another Pound Shop or cheap clothing shop with a 'Sale - We are Closing Down' permanently emblazoned on the windows. Temporarily overseas
  • Score: 6

3:52pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Dan Clough says...

hasnutts wrote:
The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!!
It's Blackburn with Darwen Council that is selling the Access Point, which is separate to Darwen Town Council
[quote][p][bold]hasnutts[/bold] wrote: The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!![/p][/quote]It's Blackburn with Darwen Council that is selling the Access Point, which is separate to Darwen Town Council Dan Clough
  • Score: 2

8:01pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Meerkat.com says...

phil kernot wrote:
newrad83 wrote:
Again you are told we could ask questions. We couldn't. We were given 3 questions to answer by a member of council staff and also when we tried to ask anything we were told "we're not here to discuss where it's going to be" It was pointless, not a public consultation at all but an opportunity for councillors to vent their frustration on each other!
Councilor Taylor why can't you have your heritage centre in the libary , that would save taxpayers thousands oh you can't do that can you ,, ,,, I know what the FANI family will do to this building and that is make it a great success , , like all there ventures ,, so wait and see,,, :)
You ever spoke to tennants of these bully's/rogue landlords? It shows that you havnt !
[quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]newrad83[/bold] wrote: Again you are told we could ask questions. We couldn't. We were given 3 questions to answer by a member of council staff and also when we tried to ask anything we were told "we're not here to discuss where it's going to be" It was pointless, not a public consultation at all but an opportunity for councillors to vent their frustration on each other![/p][/quote]Councilor Taylor why can't you have your heritage centre in the libary , that would save taxpayers thousands oh you can't do that can you ,, ,,, I know what the FANI family will do to this building and that is make it a great success , , like all there ventures ,, so wait and see,,, :)[/p][/quote]You ever spoke to tennants of these bully's/rogue landlords? It shows that you havnt ! Meerkat.com
  • Score: 4

2:09am Mon 24 Feb 14

english rose 1 says...

happycyclist wrote:
hasnutts wrote:
The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!!
Good comment. Plenty of parking and easy access, too.
It's a very poor comment actually. The Access Point isn't within the Conservation Area and is a relatively new building, and therefore would not attract heritage grant funding.
[quote][p][bold]happycyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hasnutts[/bold] wrote: The council already own the former Darwen Access Point, which is no longer used and is up for auction. Why buy another building when they could easily run a heritage Center there!![/p][/quote]Good comment. Plenty of parking and easy access, too.[/p][/quote]It's a very poor comment actually. The Access Point isn't within the Conservation Area and is a relatively new building, and therefore would not attract heritage grant funding. english rose 1
  • Score: -3

2:13am Mon 24 Feb 14

english rose 1 says...

Plus the Access Point is owned by BwD Borough Council, not Darwen Town Council, who would have to purchase the building fron BwD.
Plus the Access Point is owned by BwD Borough Council, not Darwen Town Council, who would have to purchase the building fron BwD. english rose 1
  • Score: -2

1:09pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Corsetmaker says...

The building would be a good spot for the Fani family to move the Amalfi restaurant to, its central location would be good for that, or perhaps they could expand on their food empire slightly with a really good Italian shop that sells authentic meats, cheeses and other delicacies. That is the kind of shop that we need in Darwen - so long as its tastefully done. We need more businesses that actually care a bit about the town, its image and what they can do do lift it out of the sorry state its in with its pound & charity shop empire - something the council seems to care little about.

The problem with "renting it out to tenants" is the landlord no longer cares WHO or to WHAT function the building will be put to, only that the money is coming in at the end of the month, so i hope the Fani's think very carefully before they do this.
The building would be a good spot for the Fani family to move the Amalfi restaurant to, its central location would be good for that, or perhaps they could expand on their food empire slightly with a really good Italian shop that sells authentic meats, cheeses and other delicacies. That is the kind of shop that we need in Darwen - so long as its tastefully done. We need more businesses that actually care a bit about the town, its image and what they can do do lift it out of the sorry state its in with its pound & charity shop empire - something the council seems to care little about. The problem with "renting it out to tenants" is the landlord no longer cares WHO or to WHAT function the building will be put to, only that the money is coming in at the end of the month, so i hope the Fani's think very carefully before they do this. Corsetmaker
  • Score: 1

8:29pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Unhappycyclist says...

Parking?
Parking? Unhappycyclist
  • Score: 0

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