LONDON: India Club, a historic venue that hosted nationalists like VK Krishna Menon and others during the struggle for independence, has lost a legal fight against its closure and will shut down next month. The owners of India Club, located on Strand Street in central London, had successfully resisted an attempt to demolish the historic site and restaurant a few years ago, but they have now received notices from the owners of the building who want to turn it into a luxury hotel.
Yadgaar Marker and his daughter Firoza, who run India Club, launched the ‘Save India Club’ campaign to preserve the club’s legacy. However, they have announced that they have no choice but to close the club after receiving the notice from the landlords. Yadgaar and Firoza said, “We are heartbroken to announce that India Club will close its doors to the public for the final time on September 17. India Club traces its origins to the India League, which advocated for India’s independence from British rule in Britain. Krishna Menon, who became India’s first High Commissioner to Britain, was one of the club’s founding members.
India Club was established as an Indian restaurant in 1946 and is situated on the first floor of the 26-room Strand Continental Hotel on Strand Road. It has been serving Indian delicacies like Butter Chicken and Masala Dosa to its customers for decades and has a special place in the hearts of London’s Asian community. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor expressed his sorrow over the closure of the club on social media, recalling his journalist father Chandran Tharoor’s connection with the historic India Club. “As a son of one of its founders, I am saddened by the closure of a place that has served so many Indians for nearly three-quarters of a century,” he posted on ‘X’ social media platform.’