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Iconic London Restaurant India Club to Close After 70 Years

For more than seventy years, tucked away in a corner of central London, the India Club has been a hidden gem cherished by many Indians living in the city. Serving as a sanctuary of familiar flavors and welcoming faces, this iconic lounge cum restaurant and bar has held a significant place in the hearts of the South Asian community. However, the bittersweet news of its impending closure has left patrons saddened, marking the end of an era.
India Club to Close After 70 Years

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Established during the 1950s, the India Club was conceived as a space for early Indian workers to meet up and shape associations.

Nestled within the Hotel Strand Continental, it offered a warm embrace for those seeking a taste of home abroad. The club’s insides stayed unaltered throughout the long term, giving a nostalgic look into the past.

The India Club has faced its fair share of battles to preserve its existence. Proprietors Yadgar Marker and his daughter, Phiroza, waged a determined campaign against the demolition of the venue, garnering thousands of signatures in support.

Their victory was short-lived, however, as last week, they reluctantly announced that September 17 would mark the club’s final day of operation.

The club’s origins are deeply intertwined with the Indian independence movement. Members of the India League, a UK-based organization advocating for India’s freedom during the 1900s, laid the foundation for the India Club.

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Among its founding members was Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, reflecting the club’s historical resonance.

At first, the India Club served in as a gathering point for India’s freedom activists. Over the long haul, it changed into a social center where South Asian people group individuals produced friendships over shared meals and events.

Kusoom Vadgama, a historian who frequented the club, recalled its significance in the 1950s and 60s: where Indians could track down comfort in shared language and food. Festivities, birthday celebrations, weddings, and Indian celebrations like Diwali tracked down a home inside the club’s walls.

The India Club took care of both the sense of taste and the spirit. Its menu highlighted a scope of dishes that resounded with Indian preferences, including dosas, butter chicken, pakoras, coffee, and masala chai.

The interior design was a tribute to the coffee houses of pre-independence India, evoking a sense of nostalgia with chandeliers, Formica tables, and straight-backed chairs.

The club’s appeal reached out past the Indian diaspora, turning into a well known “watering hole” for a diverse crowd. Journalists, members of India-British associations, and individuals from all walks of life found solace and camaraderie within its walls.

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Shrabani Basu, a journalist and author, reminisced about the affordable Indian food that drew her and her colleagues in the 1980s. For her, the India Club was a hidden secret of London, a cherished spot to introduce friends and family from India to its cultural charm.

Smita Tharoor, a motivational speaker, shared her unique interaction to the club, as her dad was one of its founding members.

The club held a unique spot in her heart, being the venue for significant events in her life. As she expressed her sadness over the club’s closure, she encapsulated the sentiment shared by many: only the memories of the India Club remain.

As the India Club gets ready to serve its last dinners and close its doors, the legacy it leaves behind is one of unity, cultural exchange, and the power of community.

Its role in preserving the spirit of Indian identity and providing a sense of belonging to those far from home cannot be understated.

While the physical space may come to an end, the stories, memories, and impact of the India Club will live on in the hearts of its patrons and the broader community it served.

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Top Sources Related to Iconic London Restaurant ‘India Club’ to Close After 70 Years (For R&D)

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