Monday, March 3, 2014

Jafar's: An Iconic Ice cream Parlour in Colonial Madras

Source: The Hindu Jun 25, 2003
M/s  M. Jafar & Co, an ice-cream parlour at Elphinstone Theater, Round Tana, Mount Road, Madras, has a lot of history, dating back to 1938. Some of the rich and delicious ice cream was served at this oldest ice cream Parlour in Madras. It was also  recognized and honoured with The Presidential award in the ice-cream business. Learn all about the seventy five year old Ice-cream parlour history.

Sohrab Modi, (the  `Cecil B. de Mille of Hindi Cinema' ) a film maker from Bombay, inaugurated the New Elphinstone cinema theatre in Round Tana, Mount Road, Madras in 1932. This poshest cinema theatre screened the best Hollywood films and this third cinema hall inculcated the habit of film going among the public in Madras.

Before the inauguration of Elphinstone theatre, this public place was occupied by two different (London based) theatres i.e, 1. Lycaeum Theatre and 2. Vaudeville Theatre as well as the dance hall and the boxing ring at the 'indoor stadium.' The Lycaeum Theatre run a soda fountain (Barney Dorai's Soda Fountain) since from 1910 to attract the gathering. Later it became as Elphinstone Soda Foundation to invite all film goers. 

Barney Dorai handed over his soda fountain to Jafar, one of his fountain keepers. Jafar took possession of the soda fountain in 1938 and  renamed as  Jafar's Ice cream Parlour, a landmark around Round Tana. At Jafar's the blenders whipped cream, fruits and other ingredients to prepare different cocktail varieties of milk shakes and ice-cream as well as colorful sweet menu and the parlour was furnished with  bar style furniture. People spent time in the new ambiance and enjoyed the lip smacking ice cream menu by sitting either on the bar stools or at low height tables with seats along the length of the counter. This parlour was duly recognized and honoured with The Presidential award in the ice-cream business.

During 1970s Jafar's parlour moved to Royapettai, Chennai. Later the cinema complex was converted into Raheja Complex, a shopping mall and was opened in 1981.


  1. Cinema at Round Tana The Hindu Jun 25, 2003
  2. M Jafar & Co
  3. Jaffars: Those were the days when…. By che_david
Post a Comment