Café Naaz, one of the city’s most popular open-air restaurants, would be forced to shut down

WHEN MUMBAI WAS BOMBAY: Sometime in 1998, the terrible news that Café Naaz, one of the city’s most popular open-air restaurants, would be forced to shut down. Mumbai was stunned. Since 1944, Café Naaz, nestled on top of Malabar Hill with a breath-taking panoramic view of the Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive), was a haven for young lovers, writers, tourists and even film stars. Many Bollywood movies had scenes of Bombay shot from here. The Irani-run café was famous for its Chelo Kababs and mutton samosas. In the late 1990s, the municipal corporation, which had leased the land to the restaurant, wanted it back for the hydraulic department. The café owner lost the legal battle and the landmark restaurant was forced to shut and demolished.
This picture is of American jazz legend Duke Ellington at Café Naaz in 1963.
(Pic courtesy: US Embassy, New Delhi)

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