By: Priyam Chhetri
Change the name and the story is yours, says the door at the entrance; perhaps a sign that Sly Granny is a lot of things. On the surface, it is a bar, a café, and a co-working space, but on closer inspection, it is like the mind of an eccentric collector. If it was a person, it would remind you of a witty, tongue-in-cheek grandma who displays her stories every day to the neighbourhood kids sitting in a circle, neatly arranged like a bouquet of sunflowers. Mind you, she would have them staring in wide-eyed wonder and rapt attention.
As you walk into the lounge, Granny gives her theme away, laced with her personality, without a doubt. A Prussian blue couch rimmed with faded gold is the first thing you see and as you wait for your table to get ready, the feel of the place sets in…a home that was the final stop to a lifetime of wanderlust. Gold is used lavishly on doors, bar handles, most of the furniture and the walls. A splash of cobalt blue here and there, along with varied shades of browns. “It was mid-20th century design influences and collections of eclectic art and artifacts, offset by crystal decanters and vivid exotica inspired wallpaper. It wasn’t meant to be ‘décor’ in its vanilla sense, but more of a sequence of styles, choices and changing aesthetics, as one wanders through a life well lived,” says Rohan Khanna, director of Azure Hospitalities, one of whose properties is the restaurant.
The dining room is reminiscent of old English club dining halls, and the terrace is a living room plucked right out of the East Village New York rooftops. The twist? Quirky cayenne blue wallpaper that has a 100 tiny nude Arnold Schwarzeneggers holding a bright yellow pineapple. Why? “Grandma loved her pineapples… and had her share of solid hot men!” laughs Chetana Vij Sharma, the Delhi-based interior designer, who is the brain behind Sly Granny’s interesting interiors. The artwork here is sourced from all over the world, and has works by Robert Motherwell, Francis Bacon and Hannah Hawk, an 18th century German Dada artist, the pioneer of photo montage, among others.
As you make your way to the terrace area, the art on the staircase makes your head spin. Pop culture posters, bubblegum art, abstract modern art, as well as black and white photographs add some serious punch to the place. The misted windows are a nice touch. If I didn’t know any better, the woodwork, the large windows and the lively frames would have fooled me into looking out the window, expecting to see only mountains and tall pine trees.
The terrace is another story altogether. Think Brooklyn. Think Alicia Keys on the street, belting out Empire State of Mind. Vintage furniture, but not one pair identical to another – from orange-yellow lounge chairs to faux leather couches and wooden dining sets. A quarter of a tree-bark stands suspended as a table. “There is no reason why it is the way it is. The whole idea was to tell you about a house that was passed on to a grandson from his quirky-as-hell grandmother. Some things he added along the way, some things he received as they were. It is all about both their personalities,” the designer reveals. For example, the ‘room out back’ is an entity on its own. A cozy room with a bar and single malts and cigars lined up, old wooden cabinets and leather furniture – it is meant to be used for more private affairs. There are two of these on the premises, and if they don’t make you think of an old English businessman’s work cabin, I don’t know what will.
Sly Granny is more than a restaurant. It is like a warm Sunday in your jammies listening to jazz… or punk rock. Whatever Granny fancies from her box of multi-hued, myriad experiences.