Why did Hyderabad's iconic Universal Restaurant shut down?

When NewsMeter reached out to one of the Partners, Khamran Mirza said, "There is no particular reason to shut it down. We want to concentrate on our families and other priorities. I used to own the Himayat Nagar Universal Bakery outlet. My partner cum friend who owns the Secunderabad outlet is currently abroad."

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  18 March 2022 4:15 AM GMT
Why did Hyderabads iconic Universal Restaurant shut down?

Hyderabad: Iconic Universal Restaurant and Confectionery at MG Road - Secunderabad shut down almost 10 days ago. It is now being replaced by Sarvi Restaurant. Started as `Chai ka Dukaan' (tea stall) in the 70s, it was later converted into a bakery. It was a go-to place for burger lovers in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Nestled beside Chermas in the Mahatma Gandhi Road, Universal Restaurant and Confectionery was a go-to spot for several people from Secunderabad. "The restaurant and the seating area were always hygienic. And it was almost always full. It was like a break-spot in between shopping on the busy roads. It was the only place around which used to have a seating area," said Anuradha Reddy, the convenor of INTACH, Hyderabad.

Why Bakery closed

When NewsMeter reached out to one of the Partners, Khamran Mirza said, "There is no particular reason to shut it down. We want to concentrate on our families and other priorities. I used to own the Himayat Nagar Universal Bakery outlet. My partner cum friend who owns the Secunderabad outlet is currently abroad."

When informed about how Netizens are expressing their love for the brand. He chuckled and said, "I am aware of the love and respect we are receiving on social media. Time and again we are being asked to reopen the outlets."

Sohrab Mojgani, the co-founder and the one who handled the branch in Mahatma Gandhi Road is currently living abroad. "To put it in a nutshell, Universal Bakery was closed because the owner wanted to concentrate more on other businesses and his family life," Khamran said.

According to a staff member who previously worked at Universal Bakery, there were three partners- Khamran, Sohrab, and Mohammad. The staff said that the property was handed over to Sarvi since there was no further family to take care of the Universal Bakery furthermore. While the MG Road branch has already been converted into 'Sarvi Restaurant and Confectionaries'. Sarvi restaurant is already in Mehdipatnam.

Anuradha said that the Himayat Nagar branch closed down within a year of its launch in 2016. She opined that the lack of parking there was an issue of concern. "Univeral Bakery (MG Road branch) was on-demand after Percy's Bakery (in Secunderabad) shut down. Universal was an amazing place with multiple varieties of food that were reasonably priced even until it was closed," she said.

"It was unlike other Irani Bakeries in the city. Around 20 years ago the bakeries in the city were predominantly Irani Bakeries where women weren't spotted as they were not encouraged to go there. However, Universal Bakery was very different. Any woman could step into the bakery without having to feel awkward or out of place. The bakery couldn't be spotted much, Universal had women of all religions visiting them comfortably," Anuradha said.

Harshitha, a government employee, had her first burger when she was nine. "I was hooked. It always is and will be the original chicken burger for me no matter how many Zingers and McSpicy Chickens I eat. It's my comfort food, in fact, the last time I had it was in November after a very hectic day at work, and had I known that would be my last Universal burger I'd have eaten the tomatoes too," she said.

Universal Bakery was particularly famous for its burgers which were priced as low as Rs 50. "The bakery has its fingerprint, taste, and flavor in all the products. One could never replicate its taste," said Anuj Gurwara, an anchprand singer based in Hyderabad. "Universal Bakery is not just a landmark for Hyderabad but a landmark for an entire generation."

Next Story
Share it