Ask anyone even remotely acquainted with Kolkata’s food culture — “which is the ‘food street’ of the city?” And it’s almost certain that they’ll say “Park Street”. From the humble “bread and stew” at the local street stall to the succulent sizzlers and continental cuisines at the fine dining restaurants, Park Street has it all. No wonder, it has been the nerve-centre of Kolkata’s food scenario for many decades now. However, things are changing fast with the EM Bypass Gariahat Connector vying for the top spot as Kolkata’s ‘new food street’.
While this stretch is home to some of the most popular and famous eateries such as Harvey’s World Cuisine, Azad Hind Dhaba, KFC, Lazeez, Alibaba, 6 Ballygunge Place to name a few, it also boasts of some of the hippest new entrants in Kolkata’s culinary space such as Chili’s, Hoppipola, Au Bon Pain, and Asia Kitchen — all housed inside the snazzy Acropolis Mall. In fact, the presence of Acropolis Mall can be considered the single biggest boost to the area’s food scene. Even the presence of The Gateway hotel makes sure that very high standard of fine dining is available in the area. The advantage of so many choices is that when a person comes to this area, he is spoilt for many choices and is sure to get an option to try the cuisine of his choice, be it Chinese, Bengali, North Indian or Continental.
So what’s turning EM Bypass Gariahat Connector into Kolkata’s new food street? There are many factors at play.
The Overall Development in the Area is Giving a Boost to the Food Business
What was once just a passing stretch for people taking the EM Bypass from Ballygunge and the whole south Kolkata has now blossomed into one of the most economically prosperous and visible parts of the city. One of the biggest reasons for this transformation is the fact that the area has witnessed huge developments in the past few years. And, this wave of development has given the restaurant owners and large food chains more confidence in setting up business in this area. The area is also well connected with all parts of the city and parking space crunch is not a limiting factor.
The Real Estate Development Has Been Booming
Since the linking of Gariahat crossing to the EM Bypass, this area has seen an uptick in the pace of construction and shows no signs of slowing down. Thanks to factors like good connectivity with Gariahat, proximity to the major business areas of South Kolkata, and excellent commuting facilities with much less parking problems, Ruby Hospital, the office of Siemens and a host of government-sponsored housing complexes and private apartment blocks sprouted up in the area. Huge amounts of money began pouring into real-estate activities and the entire stretch of the connector became a hot-spot for commercial and residential construction — a factor that continues to grow. There are a number of small and medium sized housing complexes in and around that area stretching to Anandapur in the East and Garia in the South.
Mostly the residents of these apartment complexes are socially upwardly mobile and they find it convenient to dine out near their homes as well as visit shopping malls and premium stores.
Taking Advantage of a Hotspot Location
With Gariahat, Ballygunge, Rashbehari, even Park Circus on one side and EM Bypass on the other, the area boasts of excellent location, surrounded by the major business areas as well as residential addresses in the southern part of the city. Thanks to this, the area witnesses huge traffic and heavy footfalls throughout the day.
As this street is gaining a reputation as a great place for hanging out and dining, it is expected that residents of upcoming residential complexes along the EM Bypass will come to dine here in increasing numbers.
The stretch along the connector and the surrounding areas are increasingly attracting real estate interest from upper-middle-class families, thanks to housing complexes ranging from Avishikta, Greenwood Nook to Upohar-Hiland Park and Urbana. The area alongside the road has also seen the large development of real estate with a number of apartment buildings. As the price point of these apartments in Kasba is rather on the higher side, they are attracting residents with superior purchasing power. With considerable disposable income coupled with the consumerist mindset, these consumers are the reason why this area is also becoming one of the hottest fine dining destinations in the city.