KOZHIKODE: Gujarathi Street, once a synonym for isolation with an old-world feel, is gradually reinventing its strengths with many youngsters with innovative ideas choosing it to start their business ventures, a blend of art, heritage and creativity.
A concept started by Naseeb Mehmood and friends a few years ago, it now houses Gudhaam Art Café, House of Sparrows, Yum Lab Creamery, a unique cool space where one can have hand-churned ice creams, Dilbar Restaurant and Kadappuram Shanghai, a Chinese restaurant and about ten projects are in the making.
Thanks to Mr Mehmood, a commercial space designer who has been dreaming about converting the sleepy streets into an active zone without affecting its warehouse character.
Returning after his studies in Malaysia, he started his office here turning an abandoned warehouse into an office, 'Quern'. Later with the support of a few others, he started Gudhaam Art Café, a unique ethnic restaurant.
As the name suggests, it has a space for discussions and a gallery for exhibitions.
Many of his friends also expressed willingness to start their projects.
"In many countries, there are creative spaces for people with innovative ideas. So we want to fill the vacuum," he told DC. "We aim at ensuring a space for creative people with innovative ideas."
Once upon a time, the Gujarathi Street was a business hub of spices and rice. The paradigm shift in business resulted in a fall of fame, and many went to cities like Mumbai. But the changeless buildings and narrow streets continued to remind us about its past.
There were many communities unique to warehouse culture like Jains, Parsees and Bohras here.
"It is need of the hour to promote a creative culture that would attract a vibrant crowd with unique ideas," said Vineetha Sajeev who started Yum Lab along with Divya, another friend.
"We don't want it crowded and clamorous but need it filled with a quality crowd."...