Historic restaurant India Club in London closes its doors

 Monday, September 18, 2023 


The India Club, a historic London restaurant with deep ties to India’s struggle for independence, is set to close its doors permanently due to an unsuccessful attempt to thwart a hotel redevelopment plan.

Located on The Strand in central London, the India Club was established in 1951, just four years after India gained independence from British colonial rule. It was founded by members of the India League, a campaign group that advocated for India’s freedom.

Over the decades, the India Club has become a cherished institution, attracting both regular patrons and Londoners of Indian descent. It has been a place where people could savor traditional Indian dishes like masala dosa and bhuna lamb while enjoying a pint of Cobra or Kingfisher beer. Beyond the food, it offered a convivial atmosphere that served as a home away from home for students, journalists, travelers, and those seeking a taste of India in the heart of London.

Indian lawmaker Shashi Tharoor, whose late father Chandran played a role in establishing the India Club, remarked on its significance, stating that it provided not only affordable and quality Indian cuisine but also a space for people to forge and maintain friendships.

The impending closure of the India Club has led to a surge in patrons in its final days. Manager Phiroza Marker is actively seeking an alternative location nearby to continue the restaurant’s legacy. The establishment’s distinctive atmosphere, with its formica tables and mustard yellow walls reminiscent of a colonial-era Indian coffee house, will be missed by its loyal customers.

For those who have frequented the India Club for years, its closure is a poignant loss. It marks the end of an era and the fading away of a place that held historical significance for India’s quest for freedom and cultural connections between India and the UK.

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