Nestled inside a lane in Sainikpuri in Secunderabad, ‘People’s Choice’ opened its door to public in December, last year. The whole intention was to sow the seeds of turning it into a safe space that provides food, drink and sustenance for the city’s rainbow community.

“We wanted a space where people felt comfortable being themselves and free without looking for approval and having to meet ideas of acceptability. Be it friends or couples or any gender, everybody can come here and enjoy themselves being just who they are, no questions asked and no judgements passed. The idea was there for ages but it took time to save a considerate amount to open this cafe, but here we are finally,” says Hephzibah Smith, the brainchild behind the cafe, who is supported by her friend-cum-chef Adam.

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Decked with warm lights, walls with messages and music in the background beat… the café gives one welcoming vibes but is not really welcomed by the neighbours around. “We did face a lot of hassles and are still facing it. One of them cut down trees in our property,” Adam tells us.

On the other hand, 24-year-old Hephzibah shares how except for her mother, no one stood by her. “It was disheartening to see how people close to me just walked out when they got to know the intention behind the café. We just want them to understand. It surely isn’t an easy route but our vision is clear.”

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She further adds that opening of this café is basically coming together of many movements. “Any step by an individual helps take the movement forward. Hence, starting a café was an important aspect. More than the business, we were focussed on starting a space that can spread awareness. And we are working towards it,” she says.

Discussing their future plans, the duo says, “We are coming with a food truck at Jubilee Hills with the same concept in the month of August. It will be operational from 10 pm to 2 am. Also, we are still renovating the cafe from scratch, step by step. There is a lot to do and hopefully, we will achieve that soon.”

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So, the next time you are looking for a new place to hang out with an unconventional perspective, drop by this café that operates between 4 pm and 10 pm, and gorge on some good food and a Sunday special of ‘Rainbow Menu’.

“This place is a human-friendly cafe and everyone who has either been here or will visit in future, can expect great food and, obviously, a warm welcoming smile,” asserts the owner. #KhabarLive



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