New dessert bar plans to 'light up Collier Row high street'

Rahul outside The Belly

Rahul Patel, 31, plans to open his new dessert shop - The Belly - towards the end of March. - Credit: The Belly

A dessert restaurant which promises to “light up Collier Row high street” is set to open at the end of March.  

Collier Row resident and founder of American confectionary store Mr P’s Cornershop, Rahul Patel, plans to open his new restaurant - The Belly - next door to his sweet shop.  

The 31-year-old's partners include the owner of Cake Slice, Omar Malik, and owner of Birmingham sweet shop Snack Attack, Junaid Blinkhorne.  

Cake Slice cheesecakes will be added to The Belly’s menu, while Junaid's experience will bring “something amazing to Collier Row”, Rahul said.  

Inside The Belly

Rahul has planned to have extravagant lighting fitted inside The Belly. - Credit: Omair Babar

The success of Mr P’s Cornershop, which has been nominated as a finalist in the Havering Small Business Awards, inspired Rahul to open a restaurant.  

He said: “We thought desserts would go hand-in-hand with what we have next door.  

“It will be a brand-new experience and this will light up Collier Row high street." 

Desserts such as gelato, waffles, pancakes, ice cream and milkshakes, which can be made with treats from Mr P’s Cornershop, will be served.  

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“Collier Row has a lot of food places now but there’s nothing for desserts so I thought The Belly would be a nice addition to the high street," he said.

Since its opening in 2019, Mr P’s has served many celebrities including Love Island stars Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae and rapper AJ Tracey.  

Rahul hopes The Belly will bring even more influencers to the area.  

A video of Tommy Fury shopping at Mr P’s has more than two million views on Tik Tok.  

He added: “We go viral for posting challenges where we invite local kids and give them 15 seconds to go wild in the shop – anything they take in that time is theirs to keep.  

“We’re hoping to bring the same energy to the dessert shop. 

“We will make sure it’s a lovely atmosphere for the youngsters and will keep it as active as possible."  

Render of inside of dessert shop

Renders of the inside of The Belly dessert shop. - Credit: Omair Babar

Renovations on the new shop have already begun and Rahul said there is “quite a bit of marble involved”.  

“The lighting is the centrepiece of the shop – it will look like a nightclub but will be a dessert shop."

The restaurant hopes to offer a vegan range in the future, Rahul said.