In place of Sunil Shetty’s Mischief Dining Bar, there is now a new restaurant — Little Italy. The previous one had an Indian and Chinese menu, unlike the new speciality eatery. Also, this one is strictly veg, to cater to the Gujarati community, as the eatery is near the diamond market. Sunil admits, "My father has given it to the Little Italy group to manage."
Sunil explains his emotional attachment to the place, "We’d closed down Mischief Dining Bar and would’ve gotten a hefty rent if we’d leased the place out to a company, but we decided to go ahead with a restaurant. It is dad’s dream to have a restaurant there. If I’d rented out the place, I couldn’t have rented out his dream."
An emotional Sunil continues, "When he came to Mumbai in 1947, dad used to work there as a cleaner-waiter. It was an Udipi restaurant at the time. He later went on to be become the manager. Nearly fifty years ago, he bought the place over. It’s his entire journey from the age of 9 to the time he became the owner."
Later, Sunil converted the Udipi restaurant into an Indian one. "Now we’ve given the Little Italy people the run of the place. It’s in an essentially vegetarian area comprising predominantly of Maharashtrians, Marwaris and Gujaratis so it makes sense to have a vegetarian family restaurant there."
The actor adds that his father likes to go there once in a while and dine, "In fact, when it opened, dad had the first meal there."
Although they have renovated and re-designed the restaurant in an Italian way they have done it keeping in mind that it’s a heritage structure. "The outside decor is stone balconies with red flowers — just like we find in Italy. It’s a fine dining family restaurant along with a lounge and bar. The inside is very Italian with clean, simple, elegant lines. Though the food in the main restaurant will remain strictly Italian, the lounge will have mixed starters and different cuisines for birthday parties, anniversaries and regular parties."