Smiley faces all round at the opening of Emojies in Dewsbury

tree inside emojis restaurant

We’ve helped make one businessman’s ambitions become a reality in Dewsbury. Work on the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) Regeneration programme is now complete.

Emojies, formerly fondly known as Bailey’s Café, a heritage building in Market Place has been restored to its former glory and is now home to a modern, colourful burger restaurant.

Emojies, completes the 8-year THI programme, which involved the restoration of nine heritage buildings. The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Kirklees Council have invested an overall £3.7million. With £2million from the Heritage Fund matched by £1.7m from the Council.

The projects include one of Dewsbury’s prominent landmark buildings, Pioneer House, which now houses the Higher Skills Learning Centre, part of Kirklees College, which opened last year and has its formal launch on 15 October 2021.

Council staff and Emojies staff outside the front of the restaurant

What’s changed? 

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, whilst the windows have been replaced in their original like for the like design.

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

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.

The new restaurant is owned by Dewsbury businessman and restaurateur Mr 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 certainly makes Emojies a place to visit as one of Dewsbury’s finest eateries.

The restaurant will offer diners a 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 are vital for the community and economic growth of Dewsbury town centre.

Ahead of the official opening on 21 September, Councillor Eric Firth visited the restaurant to have a tour and share his thoughts on the new eatery.

Councillor Eric 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. More information about these plans is available on the council’s Dewsbury Blueprint pages.

Inside the restaurant seating air. Filled with natural lighting and a clean and modern design Out door seating area