Bandra’s Karachi Bakery Shuts Its Doors Citing Rent-Related Issues; MNS Takes Credit

Bandra’s Karachi Bakery Shuts Its Doors Citing Rent-Related Issues; MNS Takes Credit

Mumbai’s renowned Karachi Bakery in Bandra closed its doors recently. This bakery was under fire from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers who had objections to the bakery’s “Pakistani” name. However, owners of the premises clarified that the bakery was closed due to a leasing/rent issue, and has nothing to do with the recent agitation by the MNS.

It’s worth noting that Karachi Bakery is run by a family of Sindhi migrants from Pakistan’s Karachi, and has no relation to modern-day Pakistan in any way. The family migrated to India after the partition, and have been citizens since then.   

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Manager of the Bandra outlet of Karachi Bakery, Rameshwar Waghmare said, “We shut shop after the old lease agreement lapsed. Our landlord had been demanding a higher sum as rent which was unviable for us.”

“The Covid-19 lockdown had already caused business volumes to drop. We did stave off closure for a few months but finally decided to close,” Waghmare added.

However, the Vice-President of MNS, Haji Saif Shaikh, who was responsible for most of the furore about the Karachi moniker acknowledged the closure of the bakery and even took credit for it. 

“After massive protest on Karachi Bakery for its name #Karachi led by the Vice President of MNS, karachi bakery finally closes its only shop in Mumbai,” Shaikh tweeted. 

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As for the future of the brand in Mumbai, Waghmare said that the owners will determine the next step. “There was no reason to capitulate by changing our name. The bakery was a legitimate business with all valid licenses and approvals granted by government authorities. Our decision is based on business factors. Let others take credit for it if they wish,” he said.

Mr Waghmare, as well as other employees of the Karachi Bakery outlet, are now without a job. The outlet employed Maharashtrian and a few South Indian workers. Some workers had reportedly left their jobs during the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown in Mumbai. It is said that an ice cream shop has since opened in the bakery’s place. 

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