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Tiger leaps to defend eatery

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wants renowned Dadar eatery Dattatrey to continue functioning.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 19:54 IST

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wants renowned Dadar eatery Dattatrey to continue functioning.

Earlier this week, the hotel put up a notice announcing its closure and downed its shutters, leaving many of its regular customers dismayed.

It's still closed and those occupying neighbouring shops say the hotel and the building housing it have "run into trouble" with some politicians.

Sources close to Bal Thackeray's son and Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray, meanwhile, said the latter conveyed his father's wish to Prakash Wagle, the owner of the 50-year-old restaurant.

Known in the Sena stronghold for its authentic Maharashtrian cuisine, the humble eatery apparently shut shop because of "harassment from certain political leaders".

In business since the 1950s, the restaurant has enjoyed the patronage of many a famous Marathi manoos, a number of them from among the loyal mill workers in the Dadar-Parel-Lalbaug belt.

The Thackerays - Bal Thackeray, late wife Meenatai and late brother Srikant - were also among those who visited often. As did other prominent Sena leaders Manohar Joshi and Sudhir Joshi and renowned Marathi theatre personalities.

Over the years, the mills shut down and the surrounding area was transformed into an upper-middle-class haven.

But the old-world charm of Dattatrey continued to draw foodies from all walks of life.

The hotel also tried to help its loyalists relive the days when its food was available for as little as two annas  - it would invite people to come in with old coins and, in return, would offer them whatever dish was then available for that amount on the menu.