How Indian Coffee House is fading into history it once hosted

A hub of political and economic discussions and hotter debates, a second home for journalists, a classroom for students and a paradise for artists, that is what Indian Coffee House is | Photo - Courtesy, Dewi Lewis

A group of men, sitting on a table, having a sip of coffee and debating on whether the current government is performing well or not. Their masala dosa and cheese omelettes arrive and give more fodder for debate. In some corners, couples sitting and enjoying their coffee and noodles. Families or college students dropping in to enjoy a quick bite. This has been the usual scene in any of the over-400 Indian Coffee House across the country that were like a second home to many for decades.

But that may not be the case when they decide to revisit their favourite hangout even after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, at least in Shimla.

Mohan Kathuria, a regular at the Indian Coffee House in Shimla, says, “I have been coming here for the last 40 years. I started drinking coffee here when it was 50 paisa and now it is Rs 25. The place had perfectly restored our past. There are new coffee houses but this one was unique. We feel like we came back to our good old time while visiting this coffee house. We are very disappointed to learn that the coffee house is closing.”

Shimla’s Indian Coffee House recently declared that they have not been able to pay employees’ salaries for the last 10 months and would be shutting down soon. Atma Ram Sharma, its manager, says there are many bills pending to pay.

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