The crowded lanes of Delhi’s historical market, Chandni Chowk, have a new addition: a swank mall that will house national, local, and international brands. Known for its bazaar vibes, street food, and traditional shops, the busy market that was built by Mughal emperor Shahjehan and designed by his daughter Jahanara will see the opening of Omaxe Chowk in March.

Gateway to the old bazaar

Real estate player Omaxe has built this mall in a public-private partnership model with the civic body North Delhi Municipal Corporation on a long-term lease basis.The development of Omaxe Chowk includes multi-level parking, and with the soft launch, some retail shops have already started operations. Jatin Goel, Executive Director, Omaxe Ltd., said that the Omaxe Chowk blends modernity with the rich cultural heritage of Old Delhi. “We are projecting ourselves as a gateway to Chandni Chowk. The estimated footfall will be 10 times higher than some of the popular malls,” he added.

Recently, Jubilant Foodworks decided to introduce American food brand Popeyes in the Delhi region with the launch of the first outlet at Omaxe Chowk. “What better way to make our way to the heart of Delhites, by entering Delhi’s “real heart” in terms of the location that attracts strong footfalls? Chandni Chowk stands for authentic food and is a melting pot of cultures similar to brand Popeyes, which is known for its authentic cajun flavours and its Louisiana heritage,” said Gaurav Pande,EVP & Business Head of Popeyes India.

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The organised retail space is categorised into three sections — apparel, jewellery and food — and has managed to pull in some of the vintage retailers of Chandi Chowk into its fold. The sprawling food court called Dawatpur, touted to be the largest in the country, will also feature heritage brands like Al-Turki, Qureshi Kabab, Jung Bahadur Kachori, and Kuremal Kulfi, besides organised players such as Haldiram’s, Giani’s, and international brands. Bridalwear retailers such as Chhabra 555 and Ram Chand Krishan Chand, and specialised jewellers like Ratan Chand Jwala Nath Jewellers and Bansal Jewellers, are among the local brands that will have a presence in the mall. “We are getting some of the legacy brands of Chandi Chowk into this retail space. There will also be modern-day high-street brands which are closer to the ethos of Chandni Chowk,” Goel said.

Sanjay Bhargava, President, Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, who is part of the redevelopment committee, said, “The redevelopment of the area has been our collective endeavour. Chandni Chowk never had organised brands, so this mall will fill in that gap. The large parking space will play a key role in the area. So overall, I believe we will see a further increase in footfalls and also attract a wider section of consumers.”

Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director, Kalyan Jewellers, said that the brand has been strategically enhancing its footprint in the Delhi-NCR region. “Our showroom at Omaxe Chowk has been operational since February 3, and we have been witnessing strong footfalls.Considering Chandni Chowk’s prominence as a tourist attraction as well as a major hub for wedding-related shopping, we see immense potential in this market,” he added.