London's Iconic Indian Eatery To Close Its Doors Next Month
Image Credit: The India Club | Image Credit: The India

Founded in the 1950s, the iconic hangout place for Indians in London, The India Club, is closing its doors in the next month. It is one of the most popular lounge-cum-restaurant and bars that has made Indians feel at home for years. Having its early roots in the Indian Independence movement, the closure of the restaurant is being regarded as the end of a chapter by its patrons. 

Reportedly, the eatery located in the building is set to be modernised and make way for a big hotel. According to a BBC report, this retro bar was set up for Indian immigrants to meet and connect. Proprietors Yadgar Marker and his daughter Phiroza have been fighting to keep the restaurant going. They even launched a ‘Save India Club’ previously and have now announced the closure of the restaurant in the coming month. The last day the restaurant will be open to the public is September 17.

Indian Parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his sadness over the closure of The India Club, as his father Chandan Tharoor was one of the founding members. "As the son of one of its founders, I lament the passing of an institution that served so many Indians (and not only Indians) for nearly three-quarters of a century," posted Tharoor. 

"For many students, journalists, and travellers, it was a home away from home, offering simple and good-quality Indian food at affordable prices as well as a convivial atmosphere to meet and maintain friendships," he added. The report also suggests that the club has been battling against the closure for many years. Marker, years ago, even won a battle against demolition. They received thousands of signatures to save the place. 

The History Of The India Club

The India Club was founded by the members of the ‘India League,’ a British-based organisation campaigning for India’s independence in the 1900s. Among the members of the League, the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was also there. The restaurant was used by the freedom activists of India to decide on strategies for India’s freedom. Later, it became a place for both Indians and other communities to bond over food. 

The place is renowned for serving dosa sambar, butter chicken, pakora, masala chai, and even coffee. The club used to have people from all sections discuss life over food and beverages. The walls of the restaurant are lined with photographs of several Indian and British personalities who visited the place.