Opening of Emojies burger bar in Dewsbury completes eight-year project

A Dewsbury businessman's dream has become a reality following the opening of his new £1m burger bar in the town centre.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 3:56 pm
John Lambe, Kirklees project officer; Hamid Dhorat, DK Architecture; Coun Eric Firth, cabinet member for town centres; and Imran Ahmed, owner of Emojies

Emojies is at the site of the iconic former Bailey’s Café, a heritage building on Market Place, which has been restored to its former glory and is now home to a modern burger restaurant.

The opening of Emojies completes the eight-year Heritage Lottery Fund and Dewsbury Regeneration project, which involved the restoration of nine heritage buildings.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Kirklees Council have invested an overall £3.7million, with £2.1million from the council.

Interior of Emojies

The projects include one of Dewsbury’s prominent landmark buildings, Pioneer House, that now houses the Higher Skills Learning Centre, part of Kirklees college, due to formally open on October 15.

On the Emojies project, funds have been spent on substantial structural reinforcement to ensure the building’s long-term survival.

The ground floor has received a vast amount of concrete treatment, while the windows have been restored to their original like for like design.

The original tiles on the outside have mixed with modern tiling to give a fresh and contemporary look which is in keeping with the art deco style of the building.

The team at Emojies

Additionally, some of the building's original features such as parts of the steel framing have been exposed. The project now has a terraced area at the back of the building. The roof, one of the key areas for restoration, has been completely replaced.

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First look inside £1million Dewsbury burger bar

The new restaurant is owned by Dewsbury businessman and restaurateur Imran Ahmed.

Mr Ahmed has individually contributed to the lavishly fitted interior giving the building a new lease of life. The industrial twist on the design and the fashionable interior makes Emojies an addition to Dewsbury’s foodie hotspots list.

Emojies is at the site of the former Bailey's Cafe, Market Place, Dewsbury

The restaurant will offer diners a crowd-pleasing menu of burgers, chicken and fish along with desserts, smoothies and milkshakes.

As a result of this expansion, Emojies has created new job opportunities which will give a boost to the community and the economic growth of Dewsbury town centre.

Ahead of the official opening on Tuesday, Councillor Eric Firth visited the restaurant to have a tour and share his thoughts on the new eatery.

Coun Firth, cabinet member for town centres, said “Through working with business owners like Mr Ahmed, we can make a real difference to our town centres.

"I am pleased to see how this new, modern restaurant has breathed life back into one of the town’s heritage buildings.

“Thriving businesses are key to the economic recovery of our towns and villages. Helping to bring historic buildings back into use and restoring architectural features not only honours the past but takes us into a brighter future.

"Emojies restaurant will make the town centre a more attractive place to live, work and invest during what we know has been a challenging time for traders.”

The project is reflective of the council’s ambitious regeneration plans for Dewsbury town centre.