From gramophones to old books, Grand Square Mall brings back Chennai's very own Moore Market
Shopaholics can rejoice as Chennai’s Moore Market, a favourite pit-stop in the 1900s for literally everything, has returned in a new albeit downscaled avatar at a different destination — Grand Square Mall. For the uninitiated, Moore Market (named after Sir George Moore, former President of the Madras Corporation) near the Chennai Central Railway Station was one of the most popular markets (of over 800 shops) in the city before it was destroyed in a fire in 1985. “My siblings and I were frequent visitors of the market in our younger days for books and coins and more, and so I wanted to create something that was nostalgic to the city, with the same environment but with unique elements,” says Zarook Shah, owner of Grand Square Mall in Velachery.
Like its 20th century counterpart which resembled a flea market, the 800-sq feet space designer by Chennai-based architect Mohamed Ashfak, has gramophones, rare coins and even old photographs of Chennai on display. The open bookstore also doubles up as a cafe serving coffee and shakes. Being a book lover, it isn’t’ hard to notice Zarook projecting his influences in the cafe, For us it looked straight out of Diagon Alley described in the Harry Potter series. While the entrance has an arch-shaped bookshelf, there are also many books suspended from the ceiling.“The antiques will be displayed in the corridor and there will also be an auction every Saturday, which will start at `1,” says Zarook, who tells us he has tied up with Chennai-based art collector, Vijay Kishore. With the likes of rare coins, vintage records, old telephones, grandfather clocks and even camel bone walking sticks, the auction be a visual treat.
The store will also have screenings of popular yesteryear films like the silent films of Charlie Chaplin. With book signings, a play area for children and more, the store is definitely bringing Moore Market to the 21st century. Zarook’s reimagined Moore Market will also feature collections from various fashion designers in the city, in the near future.
Price: Rs 20 to Rs 30,000.