You can ride a tramcar in New Town and order snacks while seated in it too. But the tram will not take you anywhere. You will deboard at the same spot where you boarded the tram from.
Kolkata Streetfood, the restaurant situated on the ground in front of Finance Centre, the building that houses Mothers Wax Museum, has opened another outlet right on the pavement. It is a refurbished compartment of a tram that is stationed on the other side of the Major Arterial Road from gate 2 of Eco Park.
“We have replicated a slice of old Calcutta with cobbled street, cartoons on pillars and old movie posters on lamp posts. There are even pigeons, looking absolutely lifelike, that perch on decorative wires overhead,” said Hidco managing director Debashis Sen at the inauguration of the outlet on December 31.
The look of the place has been created by artiste Tapas Debnath, a Sreebhumi resident, and his friend Indrajit Bose. “We wanted to capture 1970s Calcutta. The posters are all from films of that era,” said Debnath.
A 70-ft wide installation along the boundary wall is proving to be a popular selfie backdrop among visitors. “It captures the old Calcutta skyline with the Victoria Memorial dome, Howrah bridge, double-decker bus, Raj Bhavan gate, black and yellow taxi, hand-pulled rickshaw etc. We have used corten steel to get a weathered, rusty effect,” he added.
The 20-seater eatery serves muffin, singara, khasta kachuri, varieties of biscuits, butter and malai toast along with tea. “Our model is the neighbourhood tea shop where people sit and chat after morning walk,” said Sen. A more wholesome meal of chowmien and chilli chicken or chicken stew with bread or pav bhaji and papri chaat can also be sampled if one opts for the Kolkata Streetfood menu.
The first weekend saw sizeable footfall, an official said. Though the crowd has thinned ever since Eco Park shut on government order, the restaurant is open to visitors.