The Manchester United restaurant in Bangalore, which had become a popular hot-spot for football fans in the city, has been shut down due to licensing issues.
The restaurant had opened back in 2010 and was one of only two such restaurants in the world. Other cities in India like Mumbai, Delhi have Manchester United Cafe Bars, as is the norm across the world.
Avinandan Banerjee, owner of the Bangalore restaurant, blamed rise in franchise costs and new restrictions on merchandising as the main reasons for the closure. Merchandising contributed 12% to the restaurant’s revenues, without which, running the restaurant would be financially impractical, he said.
The 11 pm deadline also acted as a deterrence.
Banerjee also dispelled rumors of losses and said they had earned good returns on their investment of over Rs.50 crores. But plans for opening Cafe Bars in other parts of the city have also been shelved.
In the end, it is the football fans, who used to enjoy watching football matches at the restaurant, who have been left disappointed.