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From stuffed toys to quirky bags and clothes, a new pop-up store by Cafe Des Arts gives you more reason to shop

Cafe Des Arts, with its French heritage building and simple yet fulfilling menu (think baguette sandwiches, home-made iced tea and masala chai), now has another reason for you to stop by – a  pop up store. The Garage has the feel of a charming yard sale, but caters to the creative crowd in Pondicherry. “Pondicherry has several designers and artists, and I was thinking of a way to promote them,” begins owner Eva LBR, who has been calling the city her home for 15 years.

The line up
This is a new concept in Pondicherry, which is rather surprising given its many artists and first-time entrepreneurs. “We are having a sale of this sort for the first time. Until Sunday we were showcasing a women’s line called SN by Sweta Mathur, Aisha and Franck’s Will’m, a kid’s line, and F by Franck, another women’s line, all Pondicherry-based designers. Franck has very unique patterns and hand-embroidered dresses,” says Eva who plans to change the designers at her month-old store every weekgarage6

“That will be just enough time to keep people interested. We want some kind of movement, which is the aim of a pop-up store,” she says. The pop-up is open to people selling just about anything, as long as it is unique and perhaps, quirky. “The main idea is to keep the harmony with the rest of the cafe. For example, we have quirky rings and bags this time. We also have stuffed toys—cats and dogs of different sizes—which are extremely cute,” she says, revealing that the first week of sales was a huge hit, especially with the expat crowd. Last year, Eva attempted a mini pop-up at the cafe, where she had invited stores like Bidisha Samantaray’s LivingArt Lifestyles and Permirra, a local boutique.

After hours
While Eva plans to retain the menu, she has expanded the cafe. “We use the entire building now and we have 10  extra covers,” she says. A cook herself, Eva’s speciality is Vietnamese cuisine, especially soups. And when she is not at the store, you will find her at the Bodhi beach where she loves swimming or long walks with her dog. “I am an antique freak so I love to go and check out the shops on the ECR,” concludes the entrepreneur from New Caledonia, France.

The tops are priced from Rs 890 onwards and the toys from Rs 500 onwards. Details: 9994481914

—Mrinalini Sundar

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