Pascucci Coffee Shop, Wijerama Mawatha
This is not a comprehensive list because I really don’t get out much. These are just a few new businesses I’ve seen. Please note that these businesses are new to me. It’s a relative measure.
I remember once upon a time when Colombo only seemed to have Barista’s, which sucked. Now there’s Coffee Bean (too expensive), Coco Veranda (fine), and now Pascucci. I still don’t like coffee (or even hot drinks) so I rarely go to any of these places, but they are there. Coffeehouses were supposed to be a fulcrum of the Enlightenment, so I guess they’re a good thing.
Anyway’s Pascucci is OK. An iced coffee is like Rs. 450, though it is suitably fancy. I’m still partial to an iced Milo with ice cream, or one of the strange, layered faluda type drinks at Bombay Sweet House but, yeah, OK. I didn’t try the coffee and Foursquare peeps have said the food is bad. However, the space is quite big, has numerous private enclaves, and, despite the paucity of their food choices, they do have fresh fruit.
This isn’t a brick and mortar business, but The Bludge is a few people who’ve gotten together to produce and sell T-Shirts. I think it’s just call and cash-on-delivery, but they have a great webpage and interesting stuff.
This website has been around for years, but they only started popping off when they partnered with a Thai company and started doing deals (a la Groupon). The new anything.lk has grown insanely fast and done a lot of custom. I have some doubts about the GroupOn business model, but in word-of-mouth dependent Sri Lanka, it just may work.
The Factory Outlet
This is a new clothes shop on Havelock Road. Colombo is dominated by ODEL on the ‘high’ end and House Of Fashions on the ‘low’. I use quotes cause there’s considerable overlap. There’s room in the middle, but The Factory Outlet doesn’t fill it. I went and it mainly just sucked. Perhaps it’s changed.
Other Clothes Shops
Places I haven’t been in include Blue Steel and Giordano’s on Duplication Road. There’s also Kelly Felder at Dharmapala Mawatha and Hunupitiya Cross, which I thought was a quite decent women’s shop, though not sure how new it is. Oh, and Cool Planet has had a good department type store in Pellawatte, but going there is a nightmare. They’ve since opened up in Nugegoda (on Hospital Road) which is quite good and much more convenient. They have science kits.
Baskin Robbins and Domino’s are international franchises that have set up here. Dinemore is constantly expanding (bellies). Sandwich Factory has an outlet, which is new to me, but I think not new in general. I think there’s a new Chocolatine or something shop on Duplication where Taprobane used to be. Oh, and the Navy has opened a restaurant called the Lighthouse Galley. It’s a bit posh and I only had a Kik Cola outside and fled.
Foursquare is obviously not a Sri Lankan business, but I should note that most of the links above are to Foursquare. There’s already a good sized and knowledgable Sri Lankan community on there. I used to tweet stuff I found around town, but Twitter has the memory of a goldfish. Foursquare actually preserves this one type of information in a useful form.