“Its hand-crafted Indian cuisine made with love you can taste makes it the premier late night food hub in the world,” the page read. “Although most famous for its #5 garlic cheese naan kebab with aloo chop, it is more than just a restaurant, it is a community.”
Liberal MP Dave Sharma and independent challenger Allegra Spender quickly jumped on board.
“This is a tragedy. I will fight to restore IHD hours,” Sharma commented on Wednesday night.
Shortly thereafter, Spender chimed in: “Business was hit hard enough by COVID and even though I haven’t been to The Unicorn in a while, even I know Indian Home Diner is a national treasure. Let’s save it.”
Indeed, the Herald was inside the restaurant on Wednesday night when a Spender staffer rang up asking how the campaign could be of assistance.
Sharma even conducted a poll on his Instagram page which, as of Thursday morning, had 93 per cent of respondents voting to restore the diner’s late trading hours.
Chowdury said that the signs on the diner’s windows proclaiming a “staff shortage” as the reason for the shop now shutting at midnight were untrue. He said he put the sign up because he did not want people to bother the council about the late-night closure.
He did not want to make further comment but pleaded for the community’s support.
Woollahra Council confirmed that in March 2020 the diner was permitted to extend its operating hours until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays for a 12-month trial, and was required to implement crowd management and litter patrols.
A spokesman said the council was made aware in April 2021 the diner was continuing to trade until 3am. He also confirmed the diner’s application to permanently extend its hours was refused “due to a failure to demonstrate satisfactory crowd management”.
“We understand the owner is considering appealing this decision, which would be reviewed as part of the DA process,” he said.
Liberal councilor Sean Carmichael said he would table the Bondi Lines petition in council. “I’ve seen this place open late for years. It always seems well run and very well-loved,” he said. “I’m loath to see yet another Oxford Street institution die an avoidable death.”
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