the India Club Needs Your Help
*UPDATE*: Through the immense kindness and generosity of our supporters, we raised £49,381 which will be used for the ongoing legal fight with our landlord. We have currently filed our defence in court. The India Club remains open in the meantime.
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.
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.
Who are we fighting:
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.
What are we fighting for:
Fighting the landlord - a multi-million pound property developer - for 3 years, combined with the pandemic, has taken a financial toll. As a result we appealed to the public to help us raise funds 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.
UPDATE: Crowdfunder has now ended and £49.381 was raised. Whether you are an old friend, a one-time visitor or someone who appreciates what the India Club stands for, we are eternally grateful for your support.
We have filed our defence in court. The India Club remains open in the meantime.