Bengaluru's iconic Koshy's Restaurant, serving customers since 1952, is suspending its operations temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic. This is reportedly the first time that the decade-old restaurant on St Marks Road in Central Bengaluru has shut down for a period of time.
After opening for a while after the lockdown was lifted, the management decided to close the restaurant indefinitely, given the challenges of keeping staff and customers safe amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
Prem Koshy, the co-owner of Koshy's, said: "It was a very delicate situation... We opened for 23 days but maintaining socail distancing, ensuring sanitisation of everything and keeping our employees safe was challenging".
He further told NDTV that as the number of customers started to grow it became more difficult to run while keeping the coronavirus norms in place.
"Santhosh and I then decided to put safety first. Once the numbers go down," then the restaurant management will again open the eatery. "I love our customers," Mr Koshy added.
Mr Koshy, while describing himself said: "I am not the owner. I am just the keeper of this legacy that has been passed down. My brother Santhosh and myself are just the guardians of this place!"
In the decades since it opened, the iconic restaurant has rarely closed. "Unless there was an enforced shutdown, we have never really shut down at all. We have gone through challenges and tough days but have never shut down except when one of us passes away. And even then we shut down for half a day - next morning we are up and about! That is the instruction from our older guard. They asked us to do service of Bangalore as long we can and as faithfully and sincerely as we can."
There is no fix date or clarity on when the Bengaluru stalwart Koshy's will reopen. A decision will be taken by the management depending upon the situation involving the coronavirus.
"We need to get back but we need to get back safely, " Mr Koshy said. The virus is not going away. We have to take responsibility. Things are not normal - a new way of living. Listen to Mother Nature. We have been treating the Earth like a virus. She has turned around and given us something even smarter than we are."
Karnataka today reported 4,764 cases, with 2,050 of them coming from the capital city Bengaluru, where a week-long lockdown clamped to prevent the spread of the virus ended this morning. The state government has ruled out an extension of Bengaluru's lockdown.
As of July 22 evening, cumulatively 75,833 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 1,519 deaths and 27,239 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin.