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How does business keep up in Gulshan two years after Dhaka cafe attack?

  • Published at 02:35 am July 1st, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:32 am July 1st, 2018
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File Photo: The building in Gulshan that housed the Holey Artisan Bakery where the terrorist attack of July 1, 2016 took 22 lives. Photo taken on the first anniversary of the attack Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

On July 1, 2016, five armed militants swooped on the Holey Artisan Bakery and killed 20 people, including nine Italians, seven Japanese, three Bangladeshis and one Indian

Restaurant owners of Gulshan have not yet recovered from the loss of business that they suffered after the terror attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in 2016, but business has been picking up once more in recent years.

While the number of foreign guests dwindled in the aftermath of the attack, increased security measures have now led some to start returning.

Md Mohidul, supervisor of Pizza Inn in Gulshan, said: “The business experienced a recession following the attack. We did not get as many foreign guests as we used to do.

“But from 2017, the number of foreign guests began to increase. Most of them were Indians and Pakistanis. We get many guests from the US, New Zealand, China, Japan and European countries but the number is not satisfactory,” he added.

On July 1, 2016, five armed militants swooped on the Holey Artisan Bakery and killed 20 people, including nine Italians, seven Japanese, three Bangladeshis and one Indian. The militants were also killed in an army commando raid the next morning.

After the incident, all business outlets around the cafe were closed.

During a visit to the area, this correspondent found notice boards of the many of restaurants with the information that they have relocated elsewhere in the capital.

Mizan Rahman, captain of Meraki Restaurant in Gulshan, said: “Before the attack, we got 90% of foreign guests but the number came down sharply. Our business is going through a very bad phase.”

However, SBARRO In-Charge Delwar Hossain said they have recovered their losses after the attack.

“Our business is running well now. We have placed tight security and are getting positive response from local and foreign guests.”

In 2017, Holey Artisan Bakery reopened at a new location in Gulshan. It is now located on the first floor of Rangs Arcade. Grocery store Gourmet Bazar is also housed on the same floor.   

Khondkar Mahmud Harun, in-charge of both Gourmet Bazar and Holey Artisan Bakery’s sales section, said they have been working together since January 2017 after the closing of the old cafe following the attack.

“We have beefed up security measures in the new place. Many foreigners, including envoys of different countries visit here and buy products,” he added.

Anna Hasper, who came to Bangladesh from New Zealand, said: “I visited the cafe to buy food. We get delicious food here.

“I heard of the terror attack but I do not care. I come here from time to time,” she said.