Brewing memories over coffee
It was in 2016, when micro-brewing as a concept was just making inroads, four young minds from different fields - Teja Chekuri, Vidhatha Annamaneni, Subba Raju and Harshsa, who shared passion for food, decided to open Proust. The brewery introduced Hyderabadis to freshly brewed beer; they started with a limited menu and anchored upon their strength of the food menu and has stood the test of the time. "This is one of the few liquor places that get busy even during lunches," shares Teja.
They also own the IronHill Cafe in Madhapur, a coffee place with an ambience. Wrought iron fittings, old world architecture, outdoor space with landscaping is the perfect setting to relax over some interesting hot and cold coffee brews using some of the best beans from the world over - Kopi Luwak, Guatemala Highland Coffee Beans, Hondura's Roast, and Karamana. Then there are the lattes, mochas of the world with infusions and an appetizing menu to pair it with. Salad bowls, pizzas, pastas, main course bringing the world on a platter, fritters, fries, sandwiches, rice bowls, burgers and pancakes, and waffles – food for all times and moods, are all there with a tweak here and an addition there, to give an additional edge.
This is no place for food snobs; this is a place to chill, hang out and indulge in some sinful goodness with of course the coffee and tea on the side. "It is like having the best of both worlds. After a night of partying you do need your coffee to get over your hangover," says Teja. He and his partners neither have a hospitality background nor any expertise in interiors and décor, yet, they have managed to create amazing hangout places that are now frequented as much for the food and the liquids as for the earthy and pleasing ambience.
The same philosophy has been translated and how, at the newly opened Filmnagar outlet. Originally a tastefully constructed tiled building in the ancient 'Manduva Vaakili' style with a portico and wooden pillars; the outlet has outdoor area, and a hall done in rustic and minimalistic style, where movies are screened. Tastefully added décor elements to this beautiful house creates an unmistakable positive vibe; a perfect backdrop for some engaging conversations over coffee or those no-agenda hanging out sessions with friends. The menu is expanded adding healthier options like the millet pancakes with jaggery concentrate (a must-have), keto and vegan options.
"We wanted to expand the brand to 2-tier cities. We opened IronHill breweries at Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. Another two – at Rajahmundry and Nellore – are awaiting licenses. These are micro-breweries and as much as possible all outlets have outdoor spaces," adds Teja Cherukuri, who is also the co-founder of Godavari group of restaurants in the US.
With the heart in the right place, Teja and his partners are riding on a grown curve; the baby steps gave way to big leaps; and through the journey, their focus on giving the best, has kept them in good stead.