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Chaakoo Bombay – An exotic feast in ’50s Bombay

Chaakoo Bombay
credit: Dominic Paul

Rich with the exotic atmosphere, decor and flavours of the traditional Iranian cafes popular in Bombay in the 1950s, Chaakoo on St Vincent Street in Glasgow offers a deliciously different feast for all the senses.

Interior designers for the project were IBDP.

Initial works on the scheme included a great deal of refurbishment of the existing ceilings and stripping out of the original interior, but with a view to reclaiming many elements.

The restaurant includes seating areas, a new mezzanine level, a new bar (incorporating the reclaimed front of the original bar) and refurbished toilets.

Design features include the use of Hindi lettering on mirror signage and in the artisan painted signage on glazing, as well as quirky Indian ‘cafe rules’ printed on painted chalkboards, including ‘No spittings’ No gamblings’ and ‘No fightings’!

Dominic Paul, owner of IDBP said: “The existing ‘newspaper’ walls have been repainted to give the effect of rough plaster. Feature wall tiles and framed mirror walls have also been added. New herringbone flooring in reclaimed oak and ceramic tile floor has also been laid.

“Furniture is in cafe bistro style and includes new fixed seating in distressed leather, tables with marble tops edged in brass and bentwood chairs. These are complemented by an ‘aged’ effect muted colour palette and retro style opal white light fittings with an antique/bronze finish.

“The fast track project was completed on budget within the tight timescale and went very well. The contractors did a fantastic job and feedback from the client and customers has been excellent. This has been a very good project for us as we enjoy carrying out diverse schemes.”

Chaakoo Bombay Cafe is located a couple of doors along from its sister restaurant and Glasgow’s favourite Mexican, Topolabamba.

The new Chaakoo Bombay Cafe team includes Denny Pereira – former General Manager of Topolabamba Glasgow; Cal McMillan – Managing Mixologist and Man Mohan Prasad, heading up the kitchen team.

Chaakoo Bombay owner Paul Sloan said: “As a team we waited so long to bring this venture to Glasgow. It is unique in a way that transposes you back to the ‘50s in Bombay with a touch of glamour flung in. Our people are talented, dedicated and in love with the remarkable food and our bar menu that is beyond unique.”

According to the restaurant: “The original Bombay cafes, otherwise known as Irani cafes, were opened by the Persian and Iranian immigrants who came to India in the 19th century.

“Iranian cafes were popular for Irani chai tea and a melting pot menu of classic Iranian grill dishes and classic Bombay dishes alike. They were frequented and endorsed by students, taxi drivers, ‘ladies of the night’ and lawyers akin, as the world passed by outside.

“In the 1950s over 350 Iranian cafes thrived, but today only 25 exist. At Chaakoo we have strived to keep the feel and experience as similar as possible, complete with a little added extra. Enjoy your visit, whether you pop in for a chai, Bombay Slinger or Chaatinar……. There are no rules!”

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