Chaudhry Shakes and Snacks

Hazratganj

Gurjit Singh tells us: “This shop has been here since 1960. That was the year my father moved from Delhi to Lucknow at the invitation of his friends, to set up the business. We had a similar business in Delhi. The weather is an important consideration for this business. At that time, soft drinks were not very popular in India. My father used to whip up and serve soft drinks and milk shakes (milk badam, milk kaju, milk pista) etc., using his own formulas with his own hands; in a small corner shop. Lucknow loved these drinks. Now my brother and I fix up and serve these items with our own hands as father taught us, since 1975. My brother is not able to work any more because he doesn’t feel so well. In the beginning we had no refrigerator. We used to get blocks of ice to chill the drinks. As time went by, we added more and more items. Much has changed in Hazratganj over time. It would not be so crowded. The streets would be mostly deserted, and people used to come out for strolls in the evenings. Mayfair theatre used to be close by and was very popular. It ran well till 1985, after which rising costs of electric power etc. led to the owners making losses. The movie theatre finally shut down in 1998, and this affected our business as well. In times gone by, we had good sales and the people were more friendly. In the beginning, a glass of milk shake would sell for 10-15 paise, today it costs ₹ 120. But our shop is still famous. Even today, we serve 10-15 customers who have been patronizing us since my father’s time.”