METRO PLUS

Nothing mechanical about this

A good start This entrepreneur divides his time between his electronics company in Hoskote and the restaurant

A good start This entrepreneur divides his time between his electronics company in Hoskote and the restaurant  



Omer Basith, an engineer, is intrigued by the hospitality industry



At first, Omer Basith seems like a soft-spoken, unassuming man. As we sit eating lunch at the French Quarter in Indiranagar, the restaurant where he is a managing partner and the consultant chef, it takes some prodding to get him to talk about himself.

But ask him about French Quarter and the conversation flows.

This mechanical engineer started French Quarter in partnership with three friends about seven months ago. He says, “It was really the space which drew us into the project. It was exceptional with the trees growing inside the building. We had the roof modified and that is when we decided we could start a restaurant.”

Though the Metro work is going on nearby, it doesn’t seem to bother him. He says, “The station is going to come up here. So it is good if you look at it long-term.”

Fun thing

About the shift from mechanical engineering to the hospitality business, the entrepreneur says, “Some people can be content with doing the same thing all the time. The hospitality business is something that has always intrigued and interested me. It was a good opportunity and a good place to get started. It’s a fun thing to do.”

The younger of two children, Omer grew up in the area, his house being on Old Madras Road. He divides his time between his electronics company in Hoskote and the restaurant.

Interestingly, Omer has not attended culinary school. However, he doesn’t see it as a problem. “We had a consultant helping us and we have a great team in the kitchen which helps execute what I have in mind.”

So why French food? Omer says, “I felt this place would lend itself to a French colonial look . We had these big open spaces in the front so we decided to install French windows and we knew we could get it to look like a bistro. I also felt that this was the one cuisine that wasn’t properly represented in Bangalore. But the restaurant isn’t purely French. It’s French food from all the erstwhile French colonies.”

The story behind the logo of the restaurant is an interesting one.

Omer says, “The logo is a chicken which was the symbol of the French Revolution.” He also runs a boutique resort in Bali, Indonesia, which was set up about five months ago. Future plans include setting up branches of the French Quarter in Chennai, then Mumbai and Hyderabad and tying up with other organisations for events. He adds that he would like to set up a sports centre for children.

“I’m quite upset that children in the city don’t have any place to play.”

This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.

APARNA NARRAIN

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