Remnants of cyclone Gulab were felt in Mumbai earlier this week with gusty winds and heavy rains lashing at the metropolis. Although its effect was for a day or two, this certainly delayed the opening of Mumbai’s first ‘Restaurant On Wheels’ at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
While the rail authorities were aiming to throw it open on October 2, the cyclone has led to extension of some last moment work thus leading to slight delay by a week or so.
In the past 3-4 days, work on removing the existing blue colour and repainting it with mustard yellow with tinge of black and brown was planned.
“We are tentatively looking at opening this restaurant on wheels somewhere in the first week of October. The works are in the final stages like finalising the menu and tariff chart, painting, furniture for patrons and inside the kitchen etc,” said a Central Railway official.
This was to be done on the exterior of this old discarded rail coach. However sources said that due to the onslaught of heavy rains, the paint job got delayed, along with other interior works too. “If it hadn't rained then we would have been able to finish the painting job and open it sooner,” said the contractor who is introducing this restaurant on wheels at CSMT.
The interior of the restaurant is being designed and sources said that it will depict Mumbai and its landmark edifices and structures plus complementing it with a rail-theme. As the rail coach has a restricted space for setting up a restaurant, the equipment inside the kitchen had to be specifically retrofitted. Even furniture for patrons is being made inside by carpenters keeping safe distance in mind. At a time 40 patrons can be accommodated. Once the restaurant opens, people will be able to order food online and via app-based platforms. The menu includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies but is expected to be restrictive in terms of the number of cuisines as the kitchen space is small.
“We will also be setting up separate take-away windows for juices and mini-cafe serving tea and coffee here apart from the restaurant,” said sources.
With the state government allowing more sectors to open up; right from educational institutions, places of worship etc. in coming days, the authorities are hopeful that the footfall could improve further. There is Rail Heritage Gully as well right next to this restaurant on wheels which will also be a source of attraction. Sources said that they are likely to tie-up with Mumbai Darshan tours when more permission from the state government comes in.
The Central Railway is expecting Rs 42 lakh per annum from the contractor. This is coming up at the circulating area at the entrance of PF 18 near Heritage Gully adjacent to P D’Mello Road at CSMT. The place offers ample parking space besides easy connectivity to the suburbs via the Freeway. The restaurant will be a fine-dining place and will offer a unique experience to accommodate 40 patrons inside the coach.
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