Politicians’ favourite dining joint opens for fourth time

July 26th, 2008 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, July 26 (IANS) Lyon’s, one of Chandigarh’s oldest restaurants that boasts of having hosted top-notch politicians like former prime minister Indira Gandhi, has sprung to life again after a gap of seven months. Lyon’s, of the Piccadilly group, has been closed, refurbished and reopened three times now. Started in 1966 by Kedarnath Sharma, a Congress party leader and a businessman, the eatery was shut for seven years during 1993-2000, then closed for some months in 2002 and yet again for over six months since January 2008. Its doors opened to the public once again Friday.

“There was a time when people knew Chandigarh by the name of Lyon’s. It is the dream project of my grandfather so we keep upgrading it with the times and that is the main reason for the frequent closures,” Aditya Nath Sharma, CEO of the Piccadilly group, told IANS.

Lyon’s has been a favourite with many leading politicians including Indira Gandhi, former president Giani Zail Singh and former chief minister Darbara Singh whenever they visited Chandigarh, Sharma said.

Asked why Lyon’s was closed for seven years, the restaurateur said: “During that period we were busy expanding our business and there was no one from the family to look after it.”

He added: “We had closed Lyon’s again in January 2008 as we wanted to add more to our existing services. Now we have added a premium lounge bar catering to our high-end corporate clients, industrialists and businessman.”

Sharma said that he wouldn’t mind closing the place again in the future for another overhaul.

“On entering Lyon’s, a customer will have a feeling of stepping back to Rajesh Khanna’s times. There are stairs right in front of you on entering and the architecture and furniture resembles those of the 1960s and 70s,” Sharma said, describing the popular restaurant.

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