A GROWING Afro-Caribbean restaurant chain is poised to continue its expansion by opening in Darlington, despite the challenges of the lockdown.

Manjaros was launched in Middlesbrough in 2014 and, since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength.

Another North-East branch opened in Newcastle in the summer of 2018, and the new Darlington restaurant will be the 11th across the country, with 30 additional jobs being created in the town.

Manjaros will be taking over the old Joe Rigatoni’s site in Darlington town centre, from Monday May 18. Due to the lockdown, it will initially be concentrating on a delivery and collection service, before fully opening the restaurant once regulations allow.

The chain is well known for its spicy fusion of African and Caribbean cuisines, with an increasing number of customers becoming hooked on the legendary Manjaros sauce. It is also popular with celebrities, including boxers Tyson Fury and Floyd Mayweather, amongst an array of other celebs.

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Manjaros’ owner, Mr Peter Williams, said: “Darlington feels like the natural place for our latest expansion. Obviously, these are difficult times, but there’s a buzz about the place; it’s vibrant - and we are delighted to be in such a prime location.

“There’s already been a huge response on social media to the news that we are coming to Darlington, and we haven’t even opened yet! We’ve already built up a loyal customer base in the town, with people regularly coming across the A66 to our Middlesbrough restaurant before the lockdown, so we are very confident it will be a success.”

The secret of that success is that Manjaros offers something for everyone – high quality food at an affordable price.

“We appeal to all age ranges,” said Mr Williams. “You know when you come to Manjaros that you’ll find something every member of the family likes, and it’s not going to cost a fortune.”

During the lockdown, the Darlington restaurant will be operating a ‘Call Back Service’ on its Facebook page. You simply search for Manjaros Darlington on Facebook, leave a message including a telephone number, and a time you want to be called back. Staff will then be in touch to take the order and arrange for either collection or delivery.

A local taxi company will be used for deliveries, with the cost of the fare added to the price of the food.

In Middlesbrough, Manjaros operates a popular school attendance scheme, with certificates and vouchers being awarded to young customers who have achieved 100 per cent attendance in the classroom during a term. The plan is to replicate that scheme in Darlington.

Meanwhile, the Darlington site is being giving a bright new look to capture the ambience Manjaros is known for.

“We are really looking forward to getting started in Darlington and we’ll be opening the restaurant fully once we get the green light,” said Mr Williams.

For more information and to order your own delicious meals, go to: https://www.facebook.com/ManjarosRestaurant/

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