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Revival in the works

india Updated: Sep 29, 2012 02:20 IST
Srishti Jha
Srishti Jha
Hindustan Times
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With localities like Hauz Khas and Green Park in close proximity, the Safdarjung Development Area (SDA) market has prime location on its side. The market, which has been around for over three decades now, has held a quaint appeal. It has however started to change in the past few months. Long dominated by offices and traditional departmental stores (except Rainbow bakery, which was its only claim to fame for many years), the market has taken a pleasant turn with quirky new cafes, bookstores and eating joints coming up. A range of outlets are now offering a variety of cuisines.

Right across from the IIT, with Rose Garden cooling one side, the SDA market has slowly been transformed into a perfect spot for a quick cuppa.

Accessibility — with two main roads flanking it — helps.

While Chi’s Thai and Korean, Masala Junction, Rainbow bakery and Spell & Bound café having been around for a while, this market has caught the attention of innovative restaurateurs. So, now among the row of bleak shops including groceries, recharge vendors and food counters, you can find bright additions like My Kind of Street Cafe and Kettledrum. With the added variety, this quaint market now has more visitors.

Says Aseem Vadehra, owner, Kettledrum, “With IIT and a lot of residential neighbourhoods nearby, we thought it’d be a good idea to open here. This café is a natural extension next to the Spell & Bound bookstore.”

While the market is mostly populated by young and increasingly food-savvy students, you’ll still see locals stopping by for a quick bite. Though less crowded during the daytime, this market gets busier in the evenings.

Kartar Singh, SDA market association’s head, says, “Over the last five years, this market has evolved at a faster rate. Some popular cafes, lounges, book stores and design stores have opened here.”

Ankit Sethi, owner, my Kind of Street café, says, "People should feel that they have a good option with the SDA market. That is what we aim to create."

Oldies Barista and Costa face tough competition from the newbies in this café-heavy market, which will soon get a sports café and a Subway.