Chez Jerome – Q, New Delhi’s first LGBTQ cafe in Lado Sarai, gives new hope to the queer community and offers them a creative outlet to express themselves through art. The rooftop cafe, located near The Crescent at Qutb Mall, was started in October of 2016 by Chef Chez Jerome who is an expert in French and Indian cuisines.
The Head Chef of the cafe (Maître d’), Sambhav Dehlavi, who learned the art of French cuisine under Parisian Chef Alexis, explained about how the idea of opening an LGBTQ cafe in Delhi struck them.
Sambhav said, “The LGBTQ community members in Delhi lack permanent safe spaces. I wanted to make this cafe space accessible to them. Gay men have access to the night life here, but this is not so for other community members. That is when the idea of Chez Jerome-Q Café came about.” “It is challenging to make the cafe pocket-friendly. But we are ready to do whatever we can to make French and Italian cuisine affordable to all those who visit our cafe,” he added.
The goal of the cafe is to make it a central point for conversations about inclusivity and equal rights. The cafe also aims to provide a safe place to women. “I am a human rights activist above everything else. We want to be that landmark space where everybody feels welcome. Of course, we need the support of non-LGBTQ allies, too,” Sambhav iterated.
Cafe Chez Jerome plans to invite artists and activists for various talks and cultural events. “We want to host art events, poetry readings, book discussions, and film screenings. It is not just a cafe where people will come to have their meals. Rather, we intend to make this place a hub of queer empowerment activities in the capital,” Sambhav expressed.