THE INDIA CLUB NEEDS YOUR HELP
The India Club restaurant and bar at 143-145 Strand is a rare slice of living history in the heart of London. Unfortunately, we have been served with a notice to vacate the premises by our property-developer landlord. This comes at a time when we have worked tirelessly to survive the pandemic, like many in the hospitality industry. Our aim has always been to preserve the India Club for future generations and we are now appealing for your help.
WHO ARE WE FIGHTING?
In 2018, Westminster Council rejected the landlord’s previous redevelopment plans on the basis that losing the India Club would be materially harmful to the cultural provision of the area. Sadly, the fight didn’t end there. The landlord has recently served us with a notice to modernise and run their own hotel from the property. If this fails, they want a crippling 80% increase in rent, amid a pandemic which has already had a devastating effect on us as a local independent business. To date, we have always met our rent obligations.
WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
The India Club was established over 50 years ago by Krishna Menon, India's first High Commissioner to the UK, with founding members, Lady Mountbatten and Prime Minister Nehru. It was a meeting place for leading figures associated with post-independent India. The building has long since been a “home-away-from-home” for the UK’s Indian diaspora and has introduced many to Indian culture. It is an increasingly rare example of the UK’s multicultural heritage in the heart of the capital, with a longstanding ethos of keeping prices low to be accessible to all.
Three generations of our family have run the India Club for over 23 years, from the oldest generation working behind reception to the youngest, waitressing. Yet, we are just one of thousands of families who hold a deep attachment to this cultural institution.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
Fighting the landlord - a multi-million pound property developer - for 3 years, combined with the pandemic, has taken a financial toll. We now need to raise at least £50,000 to stay afloat and for legal costs to continue the fight. Any surplus funds or costs recovered will go towards our rent costs and be a much needed lifeline during these uncertain times. Together we must ensure the India Club does not fall victim to another profit-grab in the guise of modernisation.
Whether you are an old friend, a one-time visitor or someone who appreciates what the India Club stands for, we would be eternally grateful for your support. Any contribution, no matter the amount, will help us to welcome you back once the challenges of recent times are behind us.
Thank you very much for your support.