Nanglo – the iconic restaurant brand – is synonymous with the restaurant culture of Nepal. Kakshapatis, who hail from Palpa district of western Nepal, opened Café de Park at the present day Ratna Park in 1973 mainly to cater to foreign tourists whose footfalls were growing gradually in Jhochen area popularly known as Freak Street at that time. The Kakshapatis had no idea then that this small restaurant would begin restaurant culture in Nepal.
The food served there was so delicious that client footfalls started increasing and the promoters felt the need to move to a location in just three years. As a result, Nanglo shifted to a trendier location in Durbar Marg in 1976. And, as they say, rest is history. After operating at the same location for nearly four decades, Nanglo shifted to a new location — a few hundred meters away – at Kamaladi about one and half years ago.
Taijas Kakshapati, who looks after the management of this iconic restaurant, was not even born when his father and uncle started Nanglo. “That doesn’t affect service delivery of our restaurant. It is continuing with the same ethics and values even today,” the young restaurateur said.
Commenting on Nanglo’s clientele, Taijas shares the clientele is cosmopolitan like the city we are living in. “We initially opened as a
Pub, but soon started Chinese Room. Our clientele is diverse and there is no niche market as such. We cater to different age groups, different levels of society,” he adds.
Nanglo’s sizzler, Newari dishes and Nepali thali are very popular among customers. “As we are already four decades old, most of our clients are repeated and they place order without even opening menu. This is the goodwill that we earned in the past 40 years,” the beaming restaurateur shares.
As there are various banks and corporate offices around Nanglo’s new location in Kamaladi, the restaurant has been getting good number of Nepalese diners. It has remained a preferred dining place of many Nepalese for the past decades. But they eatery also get good number of foreigners. “We do get foreigners, especially Chinese, in big numbers. But Nepalese make our biggest clientele. Expatriates also come in healthy numbers,” he said, adding: “We also get a sizable number of Indian tourists.”
Responding to a query on whether the decision to shift to a new location has affected Nanglo’s business, Taijas says no such thing has happened. “Most of our regular clients know that we have moved to a new location. I think we have a good brand image,” he said, and thanked his clientele for continued love and support.
Nanglo is open from 11 in the morning till 10 pm. It can seat around 240 people at a time. The restaurant also has small rooms for private parties. The restaurant also has a well-stocked bar and serves popular drinks from all over the world. It has a 50-strong team of trained and experienced staffers who always serve customers with a smile. In average, the restaurant serves around 200 people every day.
“Of our nearly 50 workers, only six are women. It is because some people still think it is not appropriate for women to work in a restaurant. But the situation is changing for good. Today, we can see women excelling in all sectors,” he shares, adding that he was trying to get more women workers by offering them duty hours in day shift.
Commenting on future plans, Taijas says his more focus will be on expanding the new brand Nanglo Express. “We launched this new brand in 2015. It is a quick service restaurant and caters to people with busy schedule. Currently, we have only one outlet at Basantapur. We will work to expand this brand in the future,” he shares.
“You can call Nanglo Express a mini Nanglo. It has all popular items of Nanglo,” Taijas says.
He, however, added that there was no immediate plan to bring about changes in Nanglo. “Our clients are emotionally attached to this brand. So, our focus is on not disappointing them. We won’t change our core concept – the food. We can change our decoration and interior, but we will keep our essence intact.”