New Delhi, Oct 14 (Calcutta Tube) A cafe with a delectable difference – that not only brews steaming coffee but also offers unique ‘Brand Delhi’ chocolates. It doesn’t stop there. The cafe goes on to provide relevant information literally at your fingertips – via touch-screen computers – so that customers can plan a glitzy evening out with friends.
Welcome to InfoCafe, the cafe that combines the old world charm of a coffee cafe and the utility of a new age facility. Started as a part of the Commonwealth Games initiative, these 40-odd cafes spread out all over Delhi will continue to serve the public until Christmas this year.
The brain child of Ved Pohoja & Associates and supported by a clutch of Delhi professionals, ranging from architects and chartered accountants to travel and tourism experts, the cafes also offer t-shirts, mugs, crockery items, carry bags, wrist bands, socks and tourist information – all talking about Delhi in a different light. The crockery items depict paintings pertaining to Hindu or Mughal architecture, and cosmopolitan Delhi – the capital of a young nation that is as old as time.
The chocolates and mugs feature pictures of the Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar and the Red Fort. Some also carry all the names of Delhi through history – ‘Dillu’, ‘Dilli’, ‘Dehliwal’ and ‘Delhi’. The T-shirts have colourful hand-printed motifs bringing out the exuberance of ‘I love Delhi’ and ‘Dilli Dilwalon Ki’.
A customer checks information online at an InfoCafe.
Saurabh Chauhan, operations head, Tourist InfoCafes, told IANS: ‘The idea was to promote Delhi as a brand, the city that is hosting the Games and also to provide the tourists with access to information on places of interest, eating joints and shopping outlets.’
Set up in collaboration with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) with an investment of Rs.5 crore/Rs. 50 million, the cafes can be found at Connaught Place, Lajpat Nagar, Dilli Haat, on Baba Kharak Singh Marg and other prominent places of Delhi. Revenue generation is not only from the sale of items and souvenirs from the cafe but also from advertising space.
Indian Air Force Group Captain Soman was one happy customer. ‘I’m quite impressed with the items at the kiosk, especially the chocolates,’ he says. ‘As a Delhiite, I’m happy that something has been done to promote Delhi and I wish it remains a permanent feature.’
So next time you visit any of these places and see the billboard of the InfoCafe, do step in and enjoy the various offerings of Delhi under one roof.
(Dipali Issar can be contacted at email@example.com)