Fans of Suzette’s buckwheat crêpes and Papa Pancho’s aloo tikki chaat are in for some good news. Though the Bandra eateries took a heavy beating on Wednesday — the BMC broke down the external portions of these restaurants — they’re back in action.
“We’ve reopened, as have Thaibaan and Papa Pancho,” says Pierre, co-owner of the French crêperie, which only launched their suburban branch at Pali Naka two weeks ago. “We still have a few tables outside, though everything is temporary.”
He mentions that the restaurant owners are still reeling from the shock of having the police enter and shove customers aside while bulldozers tore down their façade three days ago. “There are cigarette shops on the pavement which are illegal, but nobody troubles them,” he points out, adding, “We are meeting the municipal commissioner soon.”
Prahlad Kakkar, whose Punjabi dhaba Papa Pancho is in the same disputed property, reveals, “Ours is a rented establishment, and the landlord insists that the outside portion belongs to the shop. The building residents believe that the area is the society’s property.”
According to Kakkar, the exorbitant rent paid by the restaurants include the right to use the outside section. “We don’t know if the society wants us to go, or be paid extra money.”
Tired of the constant disputes, Sanjay Kotian has decided to remodel his joint, Mia Cucina. “Architects are redesigning the space right now. When the authorities started tearing the place up, they broke parts of the building that were in the original blueprint. Some of these businesses have been functioning for 12 years, they can’t shut us down,” he says.