The Chaiwala We Wish We Could Import: This Blue-Eyed Pakistani Now Runs His Own Cafe


The Chaiwala We Wish We Could Import: This Blue-Eyed Pakistani Now Runs His Own Cafe

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Remember the blue-eyed chaiwala from Pakistan who broke the internet back in 2016 with his good looks? Well, he’s back to being the talk of the town and it has nothing to do with his dapper style. Arshad Khan is set to open his own cafe in Islamabad, aptly named Cafe Chaiwala Rooftop, and we are loving it.

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Four years ago, tea seller Khan was spotted by professional photographer Jiah Ali. Donning a blue kurta that matched his eyes, the ‘Chaiwala of Pakistan’ became a hot topic for his striking looks back then, and #chaiwala went on to become a trend.

Khan became an internet sensation overnight and landed modelling gigs and acting offers. But the beloved chaiwala is now – sort of – back to his roots with Cafe Chaiwala Rooftop. The restaurant is marked by bright colours and bears a desi aesthetic. “We have used truck artwork to design the café and also placed desi tables and chairs,” Khan told Urdu News. Decorated with fairy lights and furniture that resembles the kind seen at dhabas, the cafe offers 15-20 dishes to choose from along with tea.

While some people suggested that Khan name the cafe after his own name, the former tea-seller had other plans. “‘Chaiwala’ is my identity,” he pointed out.

Khan has been regularly documenting the progress of his cafe on his personal Instagram, and the internet is delighted to learn of his new venture.

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Khan’s growth, personally and professionally, is winning hearts all over again.

Now, this is what we call growth!

Khan plans on wrapping up his pending shoots and projects to focus on his cafe. We’re sure people can’t wait to get their hands on some hot tea here.