After brewing a tea-volution in Lucknow since 1964, it's time for Planter's to shut down!

"I didn't want to shut our doors at all but sadly, here we are", Vasu Gupta, owner.

Taking a seat in Lucknow way back in 1964, Planter's Tea Bar & Book Cafe gradually became a pally name that resonated with the youth and the oldies, alike. Starting with Roop Narayan Gupta dealing with loose tea to his grandson, Vasu, serving an expansive range of exquisite tea varieties to Lucknowites amid a contemporary cafe setup, this brand has chronicled an uphill journey since its inception. But the confines of the pandemic and its repercussions have now led to the shuttering of this iconic establishment and we don't think we're ready to bid goodbye just yet!

Brewed a steaming teavolution in the city with over 150 sorts of tea

Counted as one of the renowned establishments of Lucknow, Planter's is was a homegrown joint that has shouldered the task of brewing a steaming teavolution in the city with over 150 sorts of tea. However, the harsh lashes of the pandemic haven't spared this tea bar and now, we'll have to live with the knowledge that Planter's isn't going to be there for our next hangout plan or any one of them at all.

Speaking to the third generation owner, Vasu Gupta, we discussed the past, present and future (if any) of Planter's and it felt like a conversation that should've taken place at one of the Planters outlets because of its intensity and our emotional connotations.

"In 2014, we started with our first tea cafe, serving food and beverages, at Aminabad (Model House Chauraha). It was a small and cosy concept cafe to test the audience response. The response was overwhelming and a lot of people from Gomti Nagar and Indira Nagar were driving down to this place. After that, we came up with an outlet at Gomti Nagar-1 in 2016. My father, Rajendar Kumar Gupta, was a professional tea tester and he curated all the tea ideas and brew blends by himself."

The Cult of Planter's: Cups of chai aur charcha!

Talking about the cult of Planter's that has a grip on Lucknowites, especially the millennials, Vasu added, "I always wanted my cafe to be a destination where we would promote underground music, live performances and more, at no cost at all. Our stage has helped many musicians, comedians and other entertainers to find their paths and now, a lot of them have garnered huge success! To make it all the more better, we also wanted to incorporate books in our set up. I have been to innumerable cafes in India and abroad, which inspired me to do so and it was an instant hit amid the masses!"

He even stated, "To personally connect with all and to create a safe space, I have spent most of my time at the premises of the cafe and ensured that everyone was comfortable. A lot of places have restrictions that don't allow people to comfortably speak their minds but that wasn't the case here! I have encouraged every topic under the sun, be it religion or politics and the process of winning hearts just snowballed, I guess."

A detailed past but a blurred future!

Vasu then added, "Due to COVID, things are getting nasty for business owners. There are no tax waivers and the landlords are also not offering any concessions. As a result of this pandemic, there is no crown in the hospitality business. Earlier, we were earning around 80-90 k per day. But now, it has come down to 11-12 k a day and we had kept the brand alive through our savings. The situation has worsened and now we cannot do it anymore."

Further, talking about the comeback of Planter's, Vasu stated, "We're not really planning on coming back to the market; at least not now and definitely not where we were before in Gomti Nagar. I have another concept in mind and after 15-20 years, when I have my own land, I might start something. But not so soon. I didn't want to shut our doors at all but sadly, here we are!"

Until next time, chai buddy

Although Lucknow has umpteen number of cafes to its credits, the feel of entering Planter's and the vibe of an evening spent here, is simply unexampled and apparently, it will be so until they return again. But till then, we do have a pocket full of memories and a taste of exotic chai blends to rely upon and honestly, we'll probably never stop hoping for Planter's to put up a post saying, "We're Back Again".

Stepping out for COVID vaccination? Here are 5 measures you should keep in mind!

Make sure to not get the virus back home from the vaccination site itself by following these 5 simple steps!

When COVID infection rates are exploding all across the country, vaccination seems to be the only respite for the citizens. With the launch of extensive drives for all individuals above the age of 18, inoculation of a humongous count of individuals will be witnessed in the upcoming days and weeks. While we are all planning to get our slots booked on an urgent basis, we must not forget that the immunisation centres can also turn into contagion hotspots, if proper precautions are not undertaken. So, here are the 5 things to keep in mind as you step out to get your immunity booster jab, that will prevent you from getting the virus back home!

Keep reading... Show less

Strictness to scale at containment zones in Kanpur amid alarming rise of COVID-19 infections!

Authorities can penalise and take other strict actions against people who violate the COVID restrictive protocols.

In a bid to curtail the volatile spread of coronavirus infections in Kanpur, district authorities on Friday, announced to increase surveillance at all containment zones in the territory. As per reports, fresh instructions have been issued to station police officials and beat officers round the clock, at each such restricted areas in the city. These officials will be further assisted by the patrolling officers. Additionally, the Deputy Commissioner of the Police has directed to ensure that no one, except for essential services personnel are allowed entry in places that nurse over one COVID case.

Keep reading... Show less

Hackathon by Lucknow's AKTU to find inventive solutions for the ongoing oxygen crisis!

All interested individuals can apply through the registration portal on the university website by May 10 (5 PM).

Amid heightening oxygen demands across the country, the APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University in Lucknow, is going to organise a hackathon aimed at finding optimal solutions for the LMO crisis. Inviting participation from students, teachers and research fellows, the event will be a race to devise innovative and optimal solutions for reducing wastage, leakage and losses. All interested individuals can apply through the registration portal on the university website by May 10 (5 PM).

Keep reading... Show less

Domestic borders sealed in Jaipur & other Raj districts ahead of blanket lockdown from May 10

Rajasthan Police strictly monitor public movement across districts ahead of state lockdown from May 10.

Ahead of Rajasthan's blanket lockdown from May 10 to May 24 in view of the rampant surge of COVID-19, the state police has increased deployment and surveillance at local borders to track public movement, strictly. Reportedly, this restriction has been implemented under the ambit of 'Red Alert- Jan Anusashan Pakhwara' to break the chain of infection. The police nakabandi bans the passage of vehicles from one district to another without necessary work.

Keep reading... Show less

'Breathe India' initiative by IIT Kanpur alumni racks up over 3 cr for tackling rife LMO crisis!

After successful operations in Delhi, they are expanding their reach to UP with the help of a Lucknow based NGO.

When citizens across the country are grappling due to a dire shortage of oxygen amid the second wave of the pandemic, a group of alumni from IIT Kanpur have taken it upon their shoulders to assure enhanced supplies of the medical necessity. Through a crowdfunded initiative, 'Breathe India', the group has raised more than 3 crores and ordered oxygen concentrators for medical centres across Delhi. Now, they are expanding this scope of help to Uttar Pradesh with the help of a Lucknow-based NGO.

Right Walk Foundation in Lucknow to support 'Breathe India' in UP

After remarkable triumphs in the first week of the campaign, the alumni collective has now associated with Lucknow's Right Walk Foundation for its programs in Uttar Pradesh. Here, the group aims to distribute concentrators, oxygen cylinders, oximeters and other equipment among the underprivileged individuals. With this, the net target of the campaign has been augmented to ₹4 crores and the initiators anticipate that they would reach this goal soon.

Working on the lines of 'social inclusion', Right Walk Foundation assures support and assistance to slum-dwelling communities across 11 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Highlighting the need for public advocacy, the organisation attempts to create an ecosystem of equity and sustainability.

Successful in assuring widespread relief

As per the information provided on their campaign page, over 250 concentrators are being provided through this program to hospitals and COVID care centres. Marking collaborative efforts with SaveLife Foundation, this group of samaritans have been successful in assuring relief in a much greater measure, than their initial expectations. All of the resources are being delivered across Delhi, working in alignment with the requirements observed by the Delhi Government.

The facilitators consist of Ashutosh Ranka, Isha Agarwal, Nikhil Asati, Kavya Eluru, Randhir Shah- each one from a different batch of IIT-K. Together, they have embarked on a journey to help scores of citizens and save hundreds of Life.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Most Read