Anantnag couple sets up café to evoke nostalgic trip to ‘old town’

It exudes an aristocratic sense and warmth. An elegant decor comprising magnificent Turkish ceramics creates a wonderful ambience.
It exudes an aristocratic sense and warmth. An elegant decor comprising magnificent Turkish ceramics creates a wonderful ambience.Special arrangement

Anantnag: The genial rays of the early autumn sun have fallen on south Kashmir’s Anantnag town. The streets of busy Cheeni Chowk are teeming with people. Amidst a cacophony of loudhailers mounted on vehicles selling different goods, the people are busy making purchases. Some ardent food and coffee lovers can be seen stepping into a newly opened café - Corner Café.

With the shrine of Baba Hyder Reshi (Reh) on one side and the gleaming springs of Malknag on the other, the café offers an exquisite view.

It exudes an aristocratic sense and warmth. An elegant decor comprising magnificent Turkish ceramics creates a wonderful ambience.

The antique lights hanging from spick and span ceiling immediately catch the attention of visitors.

The cafe is an initiative by Younus Shah, a project manager in an IT company, and his wife Azra Shafi Ganie, a law postgraduate. The couple converted a portion of their ancestral house into a café and decorated it elegantly.

“The motive is to provide space to people where they can meet up and socialise over the sumptuous food,” said Shah.

Younus said that the idea to choose this location was to reconnect with the past and revive old memories. Before the majority of trade-related activities spread to other areas, the old town was the business nerve centre of the district.

However, recently a surfeit of new cafés, pizzerias, and restaurants came up in the old town.

“Our initiative will also help to give a boost to the commercial activities in the old town,” said Younus

His wife Azra said that she still practised law but their motive was to revive the old town’s glory and help in generating employment opportunities for the unemployed youth at the local level.

“The graph of unemployment has shot up significantly and everyone cannot get government employment. The young and educated youth must explore different options,” said Azra.

Presently, Azra said, at least five people were working in their café.

She said that the cafe would also provide an opportunity for the students to ideate. The café offers a host of cuisines and beverages. At any given time, one could smell the aroma of coffee pervading the air inside the cafe.

Mohammad Khalid, a recent visitor to Café Corner said that it was the first initiative of its kind in the town.

“It is the best hang-out joint. You can find different varieties of foods on an elaborate menu. I ate a pizza there and savoured every mouthful,” he said.

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