Monday, February 19, 2018 | ePaper

Struggling to weather Holey Artisan fallout

Cafés, restaurants, hotels, fashion houses, shops counting losses for excessive security

  • Print


After the deadly terror attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the city's Gulshan area, hotels and restaurants of the diplomatic enclave counting loss as both local and foreign customers not showing interest to go there. This photo was taken from Gulshan

Sagar Biswas :
One year has elapsed in the meantime but businesses in the city's Gulshan-Baridhara-Banani areas still bear the brunt of heavy security arrangements introduced after militant attack on the Spanish café Holey Artisan Bakery.
Particularly, the hotels and restaurants at the diplomatic enclave have been counting loss as both the local and foreign customers are showing less interest to go there. Besides, the law enforcement agencies are putting pressure on the owners to install security apparatus in their business establishments to check further untoward incident.
The scenario is all the same at Uttara Model Town where police closed down at least two posh cafés for not installing security apparatus as per their demand. In some cases, the foreigners have been 'requested' to avoid the restaurants and cafés on security ground.
At the same time, there are several check posts in Gulshan -Baridhara areas where all modes of vehicles are compelled to go under scanners. The police are also not allowing any parking of vehicles on roadside, which has appeared to be a big blow to the owners of small cafés and restaurants.
Moyna, a shift manager at Gloria Jean's Coffee in Gulshan 2 said, "Our sales have fallen. The number of customers has marked a 75 per cent drop just after the Gulshan terror attack."
Apart from the eateries, other businesses-such as shopping malls, departmental stores, grocery shops, fashion houses are also taking the pain of this unusual situation.
Several businessmen counting losses told this correspondent that they were thinking of shutting their trading houses.
"It is not possible to continue business in this situation. We're not getting enough customers. Believe it or not, we've lost around 70 per cent of our customers after the July 1 [last year] militant attack and subsequent security arrangement. Now it becomes hard to pay our monthly rent and other utility expenses," said the owner of a prominent steak house at Gulshan requesting not to be named.
Echoing the same, another owner of a café said booking orders now have reduced to 12 per cent, which was usually 80 per cent.
Almost identical statements were given by some owners of fashion houses and garment shops in these areas. "We're sitting idle. The presence of customers is very thin. Even, in the last Eid season, we did not get adequate number of customers," said Jasmine Rahman, Head Designer of a fashion house at Gulshan.
Not only that, the three-star and five-star ranking hotels in Gulshan- such as Westin, Lakeshore, Amari Dhaka and Sarina - are also experiencing similar situation. Especially, the lobbies and restaurants of these hotels were seen almost deserted during a recent visit by this correspondent. As per estimation given by the Hotel, Guesthouse and Restaurant Owners Association of Bangladesh and the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh, some 500 budget hotels, guest houses and restaurants are operating in Dhaka with an investment of around Tk5,000 crore and around 100,000 people are working in the sector.
Officials said there are 350 residential hotels, guest houses and restaurants in Gulshan and Banani areas which are still struggling to return to normal after the setback of last July's terrorist attack.
Owner of a pharmacy at Gulshan-2 reported a 80 per cent drop in sales after the Holey Artisan Bakery attack. "Particularly, the foreigners are not coming here," he said.
Md Nazimuddin, owner of a bronze material shop at DNCC Gulshan Market, said he has lost a good number of customers after the militant attack. "I sell antics and other decorative materials. Usually affluent people and foreigners are my customers. But now they are mostly avoiding shopping. I'm afraid that I will not able to pay my house rent this month."

More News For this Category

BNP submits memo to DCs

Staff Reporter :The BNP has submitted memorandum to the Deputy Commissioners across the country demanding its Chairperson Khaleda Zia's release from jail.As part of the countrywide programme, a BNP delegation,

Barapukuria graft case hearing Mar 25

Court Correspondent :The Special Judge's Court-2 of Dhaka yesterday (Sunday) asked the  accused persons, including BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, to appear on March 25 in the case filed in

BNP a 'toxic tree' in democracy: Inu

Terming BNP a 'toxic tree' in democracy, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inuon Sundaysaid its proposal for the formation of an election-time supportive government is nothing but an excuse to create

UK lifts air cargo ban from BD

Staff Reporter :The United Kingdom has finally withdrawn the ban on Dhaka-London direct air cargo, almost two years after the authorities imposed an embargo on it saying poor security scanning

Recommends retaking those tests

M M Jasim  :The Education Ministry on Sunday finally admitted the leaking of the questions of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations were leaked.  "We have found that the questions

Two people were killed and 10 others injured when a bus collided head-on with a mini-bus at Madaripur Sadar upazila on Sunday.

Two people were killed and 10 others injured when a bus collided head-on with a mini-bus at Madaripur Sadar upazila on Sunday.

Myanmar urges BD to provide info on ARSA

Myanmar has urged Bangladesh to investigate and provide information about the list of "terrorists and criminals" belonging to the ARSA, which had been previously sent to Bangladesh, says Myanmar media.Myanmar

JP MP says Muhith's to go just now, not in December

Jatiya Party lawmaker Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu on Sunday asked Finance Minister AMA Muhith to go on retirement now, not waiting for December next to relieve the nation, taking responsibility of

Murder suspect killed in city 'gunfight'

Staff Reporter  :A man detained for killing a fellow gang member was killed in an alleged gunfight with members of Detective Branch (DB) of Police in city's Hatirjheel area early

Novels on top, edn books sale not up to the mark

Rayhanul Islam :Over 378 new novels landed this year in the first sixteen days of the Amar Ekushey Boi-Mela, while the number of basic reference books is very thin, the