Brick Lane named 2012 Olympics Curry Capital

Brick Lane. Photo: Angus Spawton-Rice

Brick Lane, also known as the Banglatown of Tower Hamlets, has been named Curry Capital 2012 by the Olympics organisers.

The title was given to the area as part of positive promotion action to give back the publicity to Tower Hamlets in order to boost businesses in the area and increase employment.

Originally, the Olympic marathon route was to go through the borough ending at Stratford. Due to closure of too many major roads on the planned route it was decided to move it to central London.

The mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, has said that Brick Lane “embodies the Olympic spirit.”

Shamil Ali, owner of a Brick Lane curry house said he was “gutted” about the change of route, feeling that his business will lose out on a much higher amount of trade during the Olympics.

Restaurant owner Haque Banerjee, 29, thought that the title would not make that much of a difference.

“We’re expecting lots of customers. Everyone is thinking their businesses will be booming, doubling, but it’s not going to. It will increase though,” he said.

The Olympic marathon route now goes through central London and past well known landmarks such as London Eye and Buckingham Palace, rather than the previous route through the East End to the stadium.

Local authorities sought legal action after many promises were made to the area, including new sports facilities, which were cancelled due to the change of the route. The new title is meant to compensate for the loss of 2012 marathons to central London. While some are sceptical, others agree that the the name will bring more prominence in the run up to the Games.

Nazrul Islam, 54, has lived in the Tower Hamlets area for 20 years and had opened his new restaurant at the time of the marathon route’s change. He said he is “very disappointed” about the change of the route, but thinks that the new title and the Olympics in general will bring more people to the area.

“It will be very busy, with many visitors from outside and from other countries,” he added.

By Angus Spawton-Rice

Leave a Reply