While plenty of restaurants offering modern fusion Indian food are opening in the city, it doesn’t spell doom for those offering the traditional Punjabi fare.The Copper Chimney, famed for its grilled kebabs, curries and biryanis for more than three decades, may have shut down its branches at Station Road in Bandra and at the JVPD Scheme in Juhu, but the company says it is on an expansion drive.
It has just opened up a branch at the Oberoi Mall in Goregaon, that seats 96 diners, more than double what the existing branches could cater to. Arun Chopra, head of operations at Blue Foods Pvt. Ltd, which owns the Copper Chimney brand, adds they are already in talks with “high street premises” in Bandra to reopen a Copper Chimney there, and are looking for places in south Mumbai.
“The Juhu and Bandra branches were much smaller. We recently changed our strategy to look for High Street locations with larger capacities or malls that already have high footfalls. One problem we were facing was people queuing up for tables, so we are now looking for places that seat at least 120. We chose the Oberoi Mall because five of our other brands are doing well there,” he adds.
Existing Copper Chimneys are at Kala Ghoda, Phoenix Mills, and Worli. All, apart from the Worli branch, are run by Blue Foods. The Dr Annie Besant Road branch is run by Sunil Kapur, whose father, Jagdish, founded the chain in 1972. He is now a partner at Blue Foods.
The food offering at the Oberoi Mall outlet is the same as the other ones with a Rs 299 lunchtime buffet, and the same a la carte menu, that has remained virtually unchanged since the chain started, with signature dishes of Chello Kebabs and Kadak Roomalis. The only difference is that the decor is “more contemporary” Chopra explains. While most dishes are authentic, he admits a few have been adapted to the Mumbai palate.