It was once said of Manhattan, “You can go out to eat every night, and still not end up at the same place twice”. It may not be much of an exaggeration, if at all it is one, to say the same for Bandra. The suburb is home to many food joints of repute, and restaurants open and shut here much like the doors of fate on their owners.
It is a bigger gamble to open a restaurant in Bandra, simply because of the competition. There are all sorts of places to eat here, and an innumerable number of eateries in each category. If one were to pick a place to simply grab a bite on Linking Road, one would have to choose between the sandwichwalla outside National College, Subway, McDonald’s, KFC, Theobroma, the famous frankie shop and more. Places to drink around Linking Road alone include Escobar, Cafe Mangii, Elbo Room, Janata, Soul Fry, Bonobo and Firangi Paani. If you frequent Bandra, you might have even thought of one or two yourself, in addition to this list. These places are all different in terms of ambience, across sections of price and still attract crowds. Andheri too, has similar characteristics.
Even though the real estate is expensive in South Bombay, there isn’t much competition. It is more viable to open a unique place here, so that the choice deprived locals come, get a sense of the place and help make it a brand. That is what Bandra makes it difficult to do, make your restaurant one that is memorable and unique. And since the restaurant business is one of word of mouth, before you know it, a place can be successful with frequent visitors.
Take for example this list of restaurants. All of them opened in South Bombay first, got noticed and built a following. Now, they have branches in Bandra and/or Andheri. The list includes: Suzette, Moshe’s, Woodside Inn, Theobroma, Basilico, 5 Spice.
Can you think of any restaurant that opened in South Bombay after a suburban branch? Do let us know!