Partying, merry-making and hanging out have taken a hit in the city’s wine-and-dine hub Park Street, with the landmark Stephen Court building lying devastated by a massive fire.
From party-goers to college students, restaurateurs and night-club owners, Tuesday’s fire destroyed more than life, property and business.
“It is not about the loss of business, the horrific experience has left us all emotionally bruised. We are in a state of shock as our heart goes out to the families of the dead,” Nitin Kothari, the owner of ‘Peter Cat’ restaurant, housed in the heritage building, told PTI.
Kothari, who also owns the ‘Mocambo’ across the road on Free School Street, does not know when his restaurant which serves around 600 people a day, would reopen. “People are in no mood to celebrate as they do every day on Park Street. The sadness and shock is still palpable.”
Famous confectionery Flury’s, which was also left untouched by the inferno, has been temporarily relocated to the Park Hotel, on the opposite kerb.
“The wounds are raw and the losses are still mounting. Therefore, we have decided to temporarily relocate ourselves,” an official of Flury’s said.
Priyanka Dutta, a 22-year-old call centre executive who hangs out regularly with her friends on Park Street, said she has stopped eating out since the fire.
“The moment I enter Park Street, the ghastly spectacle comes to my mind. For a few days at least, my friends won’t be able to eat out either,” she said.
Eateries which remain open admit that the footfall has declined.
“But Kolkata has an amazing streak of resilience and will bounce back from this tragedy as well,” said Sunny Puri of the Trinca’s.
Park Hotel, which houses the popular nightclub ‘Tantra’, has also witnessed a similar trend.
“I think this is a temporary phenomenon. Party-goers will be back soon,” an official of the hotel said.