‘What if an old Bombay Café were to take a gentle stroll down to Chowpatty Beach in about 1965 and drop a mild acid tab?’
Doing it was loopier still. From surreal idea to physical reality, from old grey portakabin to Trippy Indian beach shack at the Festival of Britain, it took just over 3 months to bring to life. It really wasn’t easy, but it was much fun. It’s already beginning to feel like a bizarre, magical dream that we once had.
Naughty coconuts and Golas, drenched in summer alcohol. Endless all-day bacon naan–rolls. Bhel and Thums Up. Bombay Pimm’s. It’s a shame that it couldn’t stay with us for longer than the short 5 months. And it really was a proper London summer, wasn’t it? Rain, the odd sunny spell, and some damp, just for fun.
But we’ll take with us many memories of being tucked into the Indian-Beach-Shack-on-Thames serving up Bombay snacks and plying you with naughty green coconuts. It was lovely to meet so many new Dishoom-wallas and hang out with so many older ones. We Chowpatty-Beach-wallas had a blast with you all. And of course, we must thank you all for making it a great summer party. Chowpatty-Beach-wallas, Dishoom-wallas, Southbank-wallas and any other random-wallaswho washed up on our crazy beach over the summer. Truly, the beach shack was fun because of the people in it. (If you’re feeling nostalgic, or you didn’t come and are just curious, there’s a great gallery of pictures here.)
And as our closing date splutters into view, it seems that at least some of the multitude of Hindu gods are smiling on our last weekend. A few days of glorious, blazing sunshine (touch wood). Temperatures a bit like those on the real Chowpatty Beach. A final splash of heat and colour before we’re plunged into the grey-brown London autumn. What better excuse to celebrate the Indian summer than our send-off for DCB?
We’re calling it ‘the Last of the Summer Bombay Pimm’s’. Two-for-one on Bombay Pimm’s this weekend until Monday 3rd October. Bring a friend, or just treat yourself – you have two hands, after all…
And that’s not even the actual end. On our official closing date – Tuesday 4th October – we’ll be throwing a last Chowpatty party. The food will be on us (we’ll send it out of the kitchen, and you can eat it!) and we’ll be auctioning off some of Dishoom Chowpatty Beach (crazy colourful chairs, mirrors, signs) for the benefit of Plan India, which works to bring clean water to Bombay slums.
So come along, help us to send off Dishoom Chowpatty Beach and bag yourself a piece of Chowpatty Beach history.
RIP Dishoom Chowpatty Beach.
Crisp and organised, Roda Irani leads her daughter through the narrow gullies of Swadeshi Market. “Come, let us get to the café.”
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