After serving dishes like button idli, green masala idli, masala dosa, and badam halwa for almost seven decades, one of Malleswaram’s landmark food joints, the New Krishna Bhavan, is ready to take its last order. The restaurant will permanently shut its doors on December 6.
Established in 1954 by Ramakrishna Prabhu, the restaurant was passed on to his son Sundar R. Prabhu and is currently owned by his son Sunil S. Prabhu. Like the ownership which has travelled across generations, the workers at the restaurant have also been around for just as long.
Mr. Prabhu said: “We have been in business for almost 70 years now, and we want to venture into different paths. We love this place, but honestly, we are a bit tired and exhausted. Our employees, who have served us for years, feel the same way. One of them is Ramamurthy, our 72-year-old cook who worked here for 40 years.”
While the management has not made a decision on what next, they said they were keeping their options open. As of now, they are helping their current staff members find jobs at other restaurants.
Situated on Sampige Road, New Krishna Bhavan maintained its popularity amidst the presence of other iconic South Indian restaurants like CTR and Janatha Hotel. The owner attributed the success to their menu which boasted of items common in every household like button idli with sambar, neer dosa, akki roti, ragi roti, and ragi mudde with saaru.
The restaurant also has a loyal customer base who always came back with more people to savour the delicacies. Actor Rajkumar and his son Raghavendra Rajkumar, and politicians also frequented the restaurant, according to the staff members.
“I have been a loyal customer for 40 years. I came here regularly with my family and friends to relish the pongal and bisi bele bath,” said K. Lakkanna, former Mayor of Bengaluru, who was at the restaurant on Tuesday.
Bala Krishna, who resides in the U.S., visited Bengaluru after 15 years. “Before leaving Bengaluru, I was a regular here and loved the button idli with sambar. My return was filled with nostalgic happiness, but I felt devastated when I heard about the closure of this restaurant,” he said.
For many of the employees, the owners and co-workers were nothing less than family. “I treated this restaurant like my home and arrived here at 5.30 a.m. every day to prepare food. After 33 years of service, I am saddened by this change,” said Subramani, the head cook.
Mr. Prabhu expressed his gratitude to loyal customers and dedicated employees. “I spent my entire day here, going home only for dinner. I will miss those days once we shut shop,” he said.