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Death of Mumbai’s Cafes: Now Mondegar May Be Closing


Is Cafe Mondegar set to go the same way as Cafe Samovar? The Mumbai Port Trust (MPT), which owns Metro House, the building that Cafe Mondegar is housed in, has served tenants of the building an eviction order citing criminal violations in lease terms. These violations include illegal subletting, unauthorised construction and unpaid rent, service tax and interest. 


Should the eviction go through, Mumbai will lose yet another iconic cafe. Cafe Mondegar (better known as Mondegar or Mondy’s) was started in 1971, and was the first restaurant to introduce draught beer in Mumbai. It is also famous for its decor; cartoonist Mario Miranda’s humorous drawings cover every spare inch of wall. The tale goes that Miranda arrived in Mumbai as a penniless young man. Each day, he would eat breakfast free of charge at Mondy’s. As payment, he agreed to decorate its walls with his whimsical cartoons. Today, patrons of the cafe enjoy his art as they sip on beer and buy tunes from the cafe’s vintage jukebox.


It remains to be seen what will happen next. As of now, traffic at Mondy’s has increased exponentially as Mumbai dwellers fear that it may be the last couple of days that they can hang out in this familiar cafe.