The lovely mellow yellow building beckons you with just the huge nameplate facing Cunningham Road — The Hatworks Boulevard. The vast expanse is almost hidden away behind a regular commercial complex, making the space all the more enticing with a promise of being an oasis of peace.
If you’ve been here, you would definitely be tempted to peep into their garden store, tucked away in one corner.
The building used to house The Imperial Hat Works factory that manufactured made-to-order headgear for the British and Indian armed forces, and ‘pre-tied’ Mysore petas (turbans) for the Mysore Maharajah (there’s even a framed letter on display sent on behalf of the Maharajah, placing orders for a particular green one!).
“The building was part of our family home…It was actually my grandfather’s factory,” says owner and noted Bengaluru hospitality industry consultant Rishad Minocher.
“According to records, the building is about 200 years old. It’s really in the colonial style, though my grandfather (Nadir Maneckjee) later added a few Parsi touches to it.” The building was restored between 2003 and 2004 with help from restoration consultant and architect Renu Mistry.
“The red oxide flooring was replaced with Italian-style tiles — the original ones made by Bharath Tiles in Mumbai.” What you also can’t miss are the Burma teak false ceilings under the 30-foot-high Mangalore-tile roofs.
Rishad explains why the family decided to turn it into a lifestyle store: “My siblings were away from India, and the house was too big for my family. Old houses need to be lived in…I treat it as a living object. So we hit upon this idea.”
The Hatworks Boulevard houses, among others, the multi-designer store The Bombay Attic, the Footworks Spa, Bengaluru’s premier art resource ‘Crimson’, Bas Studio – bespoke men’s wear, Eeshanya – classical Teak wood Furniture, Hybiscus – the garden store, YLG, and Lakiruu – The Wedding Lounge.