Let’s accept it, everyone loves the Minions. Since they first hit the screen in 2010 in the Despicable Me franchise, they’ve wormed their way into all our hearts.
But it takes a special kind of Minion love to start your own café dedicated to the short, adorable, eccentric yellow creatures.
Step into Despiwich in Ankur Plaza on GN Chetty Road in Chennai’s T Nagar, and the first thing you’ll notice is that the world has turned yellow, as Minions cover every available wall. The unique name for the café comes from the dedication to Despicable Me, and the cuisine on offer – sandwiches of every kind.
Brothers Monish and Mahish Raj started the café because they wanted to do something ‘interesting’. “We are both crazy about Minions, and after I passed out from engineering college I wanted to do something different. So, we decided to start this restaurant,” says 22-year-old Monish.
The Minions dedication doesn’t only adorn all the walls, it also finds its way into the menu. “The sandwiches in our menu are named after Bob, Kevin and Stuart. Bob refers to paneer sandwiches, Kevin to corn sandwiches and mushroom ones are called Stuart,” explains Monish.
One of their big sellers for instance, is the Kevin and Bob Yummy Special, a corn and paneer sandwich overflowing with cheese. “It tastes like cheese burst pizza,” says Monish.
Other highlights you can find on their menu include the Devil Kevin, the Barbeque Kevin, the Crackling Bob Special, the Nutella Browniewich, the Stuart Decker, and the Southwest Bob and Kevin.
Monish says that while Despiwich sees a regular stream of Minions fans coming in every day, the café also gets a good response from the party crowd since they stay open till 2am.
Open from 12 noon to 2am, the cafe offers a range of over 60 sandwiches priced between Rs 60 and Rs 130. Besides the sandwiches, the café also offers a range of burgers, milkshakes and juices.
Monish says that he and 25-year-old Mahish started off the cafe as a passion project. “We used to prepare the sandwiches ourselves, but now we have hired chefs. But we tell them how to prepare each sandwich. We don’t have a manager, and I’m here from noon to night every day. I make sure to interact with the customers, and it is a very friendly atmosphere,” he says.
Despite there being tough competition from veteran sandwich stores like Royal Sandwich and Sandwich Square, says Monish, “I believe we have a very unique taste and we are getting a good response.” Indeed, he says, though Despiwich has a less visible location inside Ankur Plaza, customers have found out about the café online, on Zomato and Facebook, and have returned and turned into regulars thanks to their unique sandwiches.