Why popular St Marys Indian restaurant is set to close

Owner of Princess Nisha’s Kitchen, Nisha Sweeten. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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A popular Indian restaurant in St Marys is set to close, with its owner claiming her landlord refuses to undertake urgent works that are required on the building.

Nisha Sweeten has run Princess Nisha’s Kitchen on Queen Street for the past nine years.

But she is now packing up the restaurant after being served a notice from her landlord to vacate the property.

Sweeten refused to sign a new lease until repairs on the building were undertaken, sparking the request for her to vacate.

“I said I would agree to pay $1000 [rent] but I need to fix the place, I can’t run the business,” she told the Weekender.

“They gave me notice [to vacate] when I refused to sign the new lease until everything was fixed. They said that everything was fixed.”

The issues Sweeten says she deals with include leaking ceilings, flooding, drainage problems, and electrical issues.

As the problems remain unfixed, Sweeten has lost stock and had to cease cooking due to safety issues.

“Sometimes we can’t even fry because the water drops right into the oil,” she said.

“When heavy rain comes, we can’t cook because all the water comes right where we stand.”

Owner of Princess Nisha’s Kitchen, Nisha Sweeten, shows some of the damage to her business. Photo: Melinda Jane.

She said she contacted her real estate agency, which is located outside of the Penrith area, regarding the issues and has received no assistance.

“I contact them [real estate] all the time and say we have problems. I say we have flood, and we have problems with the grease trap. They say the owner is not interested. The owner doesn’t want to do anything,” she said.

“I asked them to fix it, no response. The owner doesn’t want to do anything.”

Sweeten says that she has built up nine years of goodwill within the community and now she doesn’t know where she is going to move her business.

“It is very frustrating. I’ve been here for nine years, nine years! I’m the only person…. I’m the only one who lasted in this place,” she said.

“I’m not going to move my business yet. I’m losing my goodwill for nine years. I lost a lot of stock here that I never claimed from them.”

Sweeten said she has contacted the landlord both herself and through a solicitor and the issues in her store remain unfixed.

“I’m not asking them to build a building, I am asking them to fix this problem. I didn’t demand anything, I never demand anything, all I asked was to fix the problem,” she said.

Princess Nisha’s Kitchen will remain operational until April 15, when she’ll have to vacate and consider a new location.

The Weekender contacted the real estate agency Sweeten deals with, but did not receive a response.

Emily Chate

Emily Chate joined The Western Weekender in 2024, and covers local news - primarily courts and politics. A graduate of the University of Wollongong, Emily has contributed to The Daily Telegraph and worked as a freelance journalist.

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