“We decided to start The Royalty thinking Bandra needed an upscale nightclub. We didn’t think it would be a hindrance to the residents. But following a litany of complaints, we’ve decided to pull out. A lot time, money and effort was invested and it was hard on us as business people, but we don’t want to upset our fellow Mumbaikars further,” says Shilpa Shetty. Her husband, Raj Kundra, was running the nightclub in partnership with Prashant Gunialkar. It was inaugurated on March 14, 2010 with a star-studded bash. Shilpa’s IPL team, Rajasthan Royals, also partied there.
The club drew the ire of local residents as it was located on Waterfield Road, a predominantly residential area, and had been given permission for a bar and permit room. Fed up of loud music and traffic snarls, some activists began a protest campaign to shut clubs in the Bandra-Khar residential area or have them shifted to a separate zone in the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
Anandini Thakoor, chairperson of the H West Citizens Trust, sent a complaint to then-home minister RR Patil, following which he asked the social services to monitor them. Earlier, another nightclub Poison, owned by Sanjay Dutt’s friends, that operated from the same premises, had also been termed a ‘nuisance’ and was shut down. Reportedly, Salman Khan’s younger brother, actor-producer-director Sohail Khan, has bought out Kundra’s stakes.
The Royalty is currently being given out for film shoots; Salman’s Bodyguard was shot there recently.
Buzz is that Shilpa and Raj are scouting for a good commercial property to start another nightclub, but the actor denies it, “The troubles we faced with The Royalty have left a bad taste. We’re not planning anything else. We already have our hands full with the spas and food chains. Our next goal is to get a movie rolling soon.”