India Club pushes ahead with challenge against eviction following crowdfund

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Image: The India Club
Image: The India Club

Related tags: crowdfunding, Indian cuisine, Restaurant

Beloved London restaurant the India Club is pushing ahead with a legal challenge against its eviction following a successful crowdfund campaign.

The restaurant was served with a notice to vacate its premises on The Strand, where it has operated for more than 50 years, by its property-developer landlord, Marston Properties, back in January.

In response the restaurant's owner launched a crowdfund​ to help pay for the legal costs of challenging the eviction, and smashed through its initial £25,000 target in just a couple of weeks​.

Lasting for 83 days in total, the crowdfund​ eventually came to an end yesterday (15 April) and raised £49,381 from 1,597 donations, plus more than £7,000 in gift aid. 

In a recent update published earlier this week before the crowdfund closed, the India Club thanked those who had donated for their support and confirmed it had raised enough to proceed with the legal challenge.

It wrote: "Your generosity has enabled us to reach a HUGE milestone of over £48k and we've been able to push ahead challenging the eviction notice served on us."

Established in the 1950s by Krishna Menon, India's first High Commissioner to the UK, with founding members, Lady Mountbatten and Prime Minister Nehru, the India club was a meeting place for leading figures associated with post-independent India.

The club is located in Hotel Strand Continental, and is home to a restaurant and lounge bar whose interior have remain unchanged since the club opened.

Three generations of the same family have run the India Club for over 23 years, from the oldest generation working behind reception to the youngest waitressing.

According to the club, Westminster Council rejected Marston Properties previous redevelopment plans back in 2018 on the basis that losing the India Club would be materially harmful to the cultural provision of the area.

However, it said the landlord recently served the club with a notice to modernise and run the hotel from the property.

Speaking to Eater London​ earlier this week, the India Club's general manager Phiroza Marker said she is 'eternally optimistic' for the future of the club.

The India Club has confirmed it will reopen for dine in on 17 May, when lockdown restrictions on indoor hospitality settings are expected to ease.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Restaurant

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