OVER TWO years after it shut down, the food court of Nariman Point’s shopping mall CR2 will soon welcome diners again. With deGustibus Hospitality being chosen as the new operator for the food court by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the owner of the space, it should be back on its feet in coming months.
“We have appointed deGustibus as the new operator for the food court. They have been given four months to renovate the place and after that it will be opened to the public,” said a senior MMRDA official.
The hospitality chain which runs restaurants including Indigo, Indigo Delicatessen, Indigo Café and Tote on the Turf in the city, was picked after a third round of tendering. The deal has been struck after the MMRDA proposed to pay the property tax.
The deGustibus will be paying a rent of Rs 19 lakh per month. After the restaurants
shut down citing high rentals and poor footfalls, the food court located on the first floor of the mall has been lying vacant for two years now. The then operator, Blue Foods, left a 10-year deal with the MMRDA midway.
“Many offices in the area had moved to the suburbs due to the high rentals. So, while the rentals for the food court were very high, it had very few visitors.
But now, the rentals have reduced bringing in more office spaces to South Mumbai and this should bring more visitors to the food court,” added the official.
Built by the MMRDA along with private firm Piramal Holdings in the early 2000s, the planning agency owns 250 out of the 500 car parking spaces, office space on the ground floor and ninth floor, and 18,815 square feet in the mall.
The mall’s seven floors of pay-and-park facility had also faced a similar turmoil after the MMRDA faced difficulty in finding an operator to manage the facility.
The deGustibus plans to make an energy efficient food hub in the location and hopes to see more crowds this time. “We plan to make a food hub with a mixed offering of food court, restaurant and cafe. We have not finalised our designs yet but we plan to target the entire South Mumbai and not just the office goers of Nariman Point. South Mumbai lacks a space like this due to the dearth of malls in the area,” says Anurag Katriar, director of deGustibus.