Over that last cuppa of Sulaimani at Kohinoor

Patrons loss

One more landmark on the Brigade Road faded into history on Monday with Kohinoor Restaurant downing shutters on Christmas eve.

The restaurant operated from a rented building for 57 years and a court battle ensued between the owner and the tenant over rent. The dispute reached the High Court which ruled in favour of the owner. Kohinoor was paying a rent of Rs 10,000 a month. But the owner wanted it to be hiked to Rs 50,000, which the former was unable to pay.

The restaurant had its usual hustle and bustle on its ultimate day. Two middle-aged men were seen enjoying Sulaimani Chai (tea) over a small conversation, while in another corner, a family was busy savouring chicken curry.

“We have especially come for our last cup of Sulaimani. There are so many memories attached to this place. It is sad to see it go,” said Unnikrishnan, one of the two men at a corner table.  

“You see those two private rooms at a corner of the restaurant. We used to bring a lot of our friends here and have a very good time. Now, it lies vacant and I think one of them is being used as a store room,” said Manjunath, who was sitting opposite Unnikrishnan.

Abdur Rehman came to Bangalore from Kerala as a boy and started working at the restaurant as a cleaner. Many years later, he sits at the cash counter, contemplating his next move. “I will probably go back to my village in Kerala. However, if they decide to open this restaurant somewhere else in the City, I will rush back. There is no question of me joining any other restaurant,” he said.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope that the restaurant will revive somewhere else in the City.

“We are looking for a location to start the restaurant anew. However, the property prices and rents are very high,” said Hassan, the manager of the restaurant.

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