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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Financial Woes Hit London Café of Pakistan’s Famous Chaiwala

Pakistan's famous chaiwala faces financial difficulties as the owners of his brand's café in London fail to make any payments to him.

Following its grand opening, the London café of Pakistan’s famed Chaiwala, Arshad Khan, has encountered significant financial difficulties within a year.

According to an insider, the UK franchise owners have failed to fulfill their promise of paying royalties to Arshad Khan. Despite Khan’s polite appeals, the café proprietors have cited business losses as justification for withholding payments, along with neglecting rent payments to the landlord.

Durrani Cousins Fail to Honor Commitment

Arshad Khan’s brand was introduced to the UK by cousins Nadir Khan Durrani and Yaver Akbar Durrani. Registered as Cafe Chaiiwala Ltd under company number 13205566, the café is situated on 229 Ilford Lane in East London.

Durrani brothers have failed to honor their commitment to pay royalties to Arshad Khan. Despite polite requests from Khan, the owners of the London café have cited business losses as justification for withholding payments, while also refusing to fulfill rental obligations to the landlord.

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Nadir, a UK national, and Yaver Akbar Durrani, a Canadian residing in the US, established the company in early 2021 and currently operate it. However, the café’s ground floor remains closed due to reported issues with service quality, as disclosed by insiders.

Despite its initial popularity among Asian customers seeking authentic chai, the café’s reputation suffered due to poor quality, mismanagement, and hygiene concerns.

Legal conflicts have arisen between Yaver Akbar Durrani, Nadir Durrani, and the building owner over unpaid rent spanning six months. Yaver Akbar Durrani, after promising to clear monthly royalties during meetings with Arshad Khan in Islamabad, later reneged, citing the café’s lack of profitability. He attributed declining business to increased competition from neighboring chai cafes along Ilford Lane. Arshad Khan, seeking to preserve his brand image, kept the issue confidential, while Yaver Akbar Durrani accused him of withholding promised recipes.

Despite initial plans for global expansion, including franchises across various continents, tensions between Arshad Khan and the Durrani brothers have led to the dissolution of their agreement. Both parties are considering legal action against each other.

Promises of Arshad Khan’s visit to the café and engagement with fans went unfulfilled as relations soured over unpaid royalties. Yaver Akbar Durrani had expressed optimism about the venture during the café’s launch but failed to deliver on promises.

Origin and Rise to Fame

At the age of 16 in October 2016, Arshad Khan, a chai seller, had his life transformed when photographer Javeria Ali captured a candid moment of him serving tea to a customer. Ali posted the picture on her Instagram with the caption “Hot Tea,” and Khan’s striking features, including his blue eyes and solemn expression, quickly propelled him to fame overnight.

Soon, he discovered his newfound celebrity status as people of all ages began flocking to the dhabba where he worked to take photos with him. His image soon inundated social media, magazine covers, and television broadcasts, turning him into a sensation. Born into a conservative Pashtun family in Mardan, Khan earned the nickname “Chaiwala,” which ultimately inspired the branding of his business.






This article was received directly from the reporter.