Leopold Cafe

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Leopold Cafe
LeopoldCafe gobeirne.jpg
Leopold Cafe
Restaurant information
Established 1871 (1871)
Current owner(s) Iranis, Sherezad Dastur, New York City, Pers and Company.[1]
Food type multi-cuisine
City Mumbai
State Maharashtra
Country India
Coordinates 18°54′51″N 72°49′27″E / 18.9142°N 72.8241°E / 18.9142; 72.8241Coordinates: 18°54′51″N 72°49′27″E / 18.9142°N 72.8241°E / 18.9142; 72.8241
Other information Open Daily 8am-12am[2]
Website LeopoldCafe.com
Interior, September 2007

The Leopold Cafe and Bar is a large and popular restaurant and bar[3] on Colaba Causeway, in the Colaba area of Mumbai, India, located across from the Colaba Police station.[4][5]

It was one of the first sites attacked during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.[6]

History[edit]

It was founded in 1871 by Iranis (a term used for Zoroastrians in Mumbai who arrived in India in 19th century, as opposed to "Parsis"). These Zoroastrian Iranians came to India in the late 19th and early 20th century, and many of them opened restaurants now often termed Irani cafés.[7] It first started out as a wholesale cooking oil store and over the years has variously been a restaurant, store and pharmacy (hence the name "Leopold Cafe & Stores"[8]).[9]

Prior to the terrorist attack, it used to be a popular hangout for foreign tourists. After the attack, it is also now visited by many Indians to commemorate the spirit of defiance. Leopold Cafe has preserved some of the signs of the attack, unlike the Taj and Trident, where all the damage has been repaired.[10]

It uses a Achaemenid Persian Lion Rhyton as a part of its logo to indicate its Zoroastrian affiliation.

It is one of a couple of Irani Cafes that are still doing good business, while others are fading away.[11]

November 26, 2008 terror attack[edit]

The cafe was an early site of gunfire and grenade explosions during the 2008 Mumbai attacks by terrorists on Nov 26, at about 9:30 PM. The terrorists, perhaps an hour after landing, sprayed fire inside the restaurant from outside killing 10 persons and injuring many others. The restaurant was extensively damaged during the attacks. There were blood stains on the floor and shoes left by fleeing customers.[12] Sourav Mishra, a Reuters reporter and one of the first media witnesses of the attack, suffered severe bullet injuries.[13][14] After spending one and half minutes at the Leopold Cafe, the terrorists walked to the The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the main target.

The cafe defiantly reopened four days after the attack,[15][16] but was reclosed by the police as a safety measure after two hours because of the unexpected size of crowds gathering there.[17]

Mention in novel Shantaram[edit]

The cafe was also mentioned extensively in the novel Shantaram and its sequel The Mountain Shadow.[18] Shantaram is about an Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escapes from jail and flees to Bombay, as Mumbai was formerly called. Of all the very typical "Bombay" things and places mentioned in the book is the Leopold Café. The novel was the reason many patrons returned after the attack.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Leopold Café – About Us. leopoldcafe.com. Retrieved on 2015-01-04.
  3. ^ Boozy and Raucous, a Cafe Defies Terror, THOMAS FULLER, New York Times, DEC. 14, 2008
  4. ^ Mehta, Shrilanka (24 December 2004). "Mumbai's Culture Square – For the Foodie". Business Line. The Hindu. 
  5. ^ "Map of Colaba Causeway, Apollo Bandar with Leopold Cafe". 
  6. ^ "A look at the main places targeted in Mumbai". 
  7. ^ India's Iranian cafes fading out, Jayshree Bajoria, BBC News, 27 April, 2005
  8. ^ Yash Raj Films' asks hotels like Four Seasons, JW Marriott to pay for its music By Maulik Vyas, The Economic Times, Sep 18, 2014
  9. ^ "Cafe confidential". The Australian. 5 July 2008. 
  10. ^ Leopold remembers scars of 26/11 attack, Anahita Mukherji, TNN, Nov 25, 2010
  11. ^ Mumbai's Parsi cafe culture, Rosie Birkett, The Guardian, Friday 10 May 2013
  12. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (27 November 2008). "Terrorists run amok in Mumbai". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "Multiple attacks in Mumbai leave at least 78 dead". PBS. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2008. 
  14. ^ Kasab's attack on Cafe Leopold, "Attack of 26/11", Eros Now, Apr 7, 2013
  15. ^ Mumbai Terror Attack Leopold's Cafe reopens after four days - Skynews Report, Dec 1, 2008
  16. ^ Blakely, Rhys and Jeremy Pag (1 December 2008). "Defiant Leopold café shows that Mumbai is not afraid". The Times. London. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  17. ^ Siddharth Philip (1 December 2008). "Cafe in India reopens; Taj hotel vows to 'rebuild every inch'". USA Today. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "A week later, Patrons back to Mumbai's Leopold Cafe". [dead link]
  19. ^ Tourists back at Leopold with Shantaram, Azera Rahman, IANS, Mumbai, Dec 11, 2008

External links[edit]