After plenty of time in the spotlight following BJP leader and social media influencer Sonali Phogat’s
death, Goa’s Curlies restaurant will be razed for violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
The shack—styled beachfront spot, famous for serving scores of tourists for around twenty years,
faced an onslaught of bulldozers earlier this morning, before a Supreme Court stay order prevented
Curlies from being destroyed — subject to the condition that no commercial activities would take
place on its grounds.
“There shall be stay on demolition with respect to structure in Survey No. 42.10 subject to the
appellants not undertaking any commercial activities in respect of structures,” the court said.
Long before Phogat’s death, Curlies developed a reputation for serving everything from seafood to
cocktails, and even back massages to a host of regulars and newcomers alike. While some feel that
Curlies is a bit overrated, it certainly became synonymous with the laidback, leisurely lifestyle
associated with North Goa, and particularly Anjuna Beach.
Apart from classic cocktails and sundowner parties, Curlies was famous for serving up good, fresh
seafood. Although the standard of service has certainly dropped over the years, it still served up a
mean king crab and baked lobster — until now, that is.
Built by Edwin and Linet Nunes when Anjuna had just started to gain traction as a tourist spot,
Curlies was quite small in the beginning — mostly comprising of a single shack with beer on offer.
Today, it has two restaurants, a tea house, an indoor club, a sea-view veranda, an internet café, and water sports services during certain parts of the year.
Naturally, this long legacy resulted in an outpouring of support from several Indians on social media, who were reminded of countless ‘Goa trips’ spent sipping a beer (or three) at one of Curlies’ many beachside tables.
This isn’t the first time Curlies has been faced with demolition orders, however. The first order of
demolition was issued by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) in 2016 which was
challenged by the management of Curlies before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The current order was issued following a failure by the Nunes’ to source relief from the NGT.