Nightlife turns more vibrant on Chennai’s Khader Nawaz Khan Road

Updated - May 08, 2024 01:06 pm IST

Published - May 07, 2024 10:25 pm IST

Several affordable mid-sized and small outlets have come up on Khader Nawaz Khan Road, though conssidered an expensive place for the middle class customers.

Several affordable mid-sized and small outlets have come up on Khader Nawaz Khan Road, though conssidered an expensive place for the middle class customers. | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

Precisely a year ago, there was news that nightlife was set to get more vibrant on Khader Nawaz Khan Road at Nungambakkam in Chennai. Since then, more mid-sized and small shops have opened here and the adjacent Wallace Garden. Khader Nawaz Khan Road has always been a popular night hangout for youngsters and those who like a calm ambience.

Unlike other night spots, this area attracts a different kind of a crowd: large family crowds stay away from this place , considering it to be too expensive. One can spot some of the high-end luxury cars outside popular cafes. Now, more youngsters are coming to the new outlets to buy food that fits their wallet.

No games here

“Khader Nawaz Khan Road has always been an expensive place to eat, especially for middle-class people like me. But in the last six months, several affordable outlets have come up here,” says Priya Karthik, who comes here to grab burgers. “Other places that are open during the nights have game zones and places for activities. That is one thing that is missing on this road,” she said.

One of the most recent and popular outlets here is Temp, started by Mohammed Faizal and Mohammed Mahathir. Since both have an experience in the food industry, they have curated innovative burger recipes. This shop, which opened a month ago on Wallace Garden 3rd Street, attracts over 250-300 people at weekends. It is open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. “We chose this location after we heard the news that shops on Khader Nawaz Khan Road would be kept open round the clock,” says Faizal, who is the managing director of Temp.

Balaji Sadagopan, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO), Chai Kings, says Khader Nawaz Khan Road is very similar to MG Road of Bangalore, with many restaurants, branded shops, pubs, and cafes. He says that with the government’s decision to allow shops to operate 24x7, the place will become a hangout for millennials. The Chai Kings outlet here operates round the clock. Another new place that has opened at one end of Khader Nawaz Khan Road is Smok’D, which sells Kebabs and Wraps. “We are doing a pilot run here to see how nightlife is. We also want to understand what kind of food people prefer in locations like this,” says Tanveer Ahmed of Smok’D. “We are now operating between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.” Right opposite is Oye Hoye, which sells different variants of chaap, paneer, and Amritsari kulche. It is a vegetarian spot.

Aravind Kumar, who visited one of these outlets, says people have a perception that Khader Nawaz Khan Road is an expensive place, and until it changes, the footfall here will not go up.

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