It's business as usual at Woodlands

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Chennai, Apr 13 (UNI) The Woodlands drive-in restaurant, one of the city's landmarks, sprung back to life today, with the Tamil Nadu Government allowing it to use its sprawling parking lot.

Hotel management sources told UNI after getting permission from the Government, the parking lot of the restaurant was again thrown open to public from this noon.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, accompanied by ministers M K Stalin and Arcot N Veerasamy, and Chief Secretary L K Tripathi visited the place off the arterial Anna Salai.

Opened in 1962 by the famous Bangalore-based Woodlands group of hotels in the land sub-leased to it by the Tamil Nadu Agri-Horticultural Society, the gates of the serene campus were closed yesterday after Madras High Court upheld an appeal by the State Government that the leased land be restored to it.

The restaurant, which reported almost nil business yesterday after the parking lot was made out of bounds for the public following the High Court order, did brisk business today.

''Business was as usual today. Though it was opened only around noon, the usual Sunday crowd frequented the restaurant,'' the sources said.

A visiting UNI correspondent found the tree-dotted sprawling area was buzzing with activity, with four-wheelers and two-wheelers jostling for space.

When contacted, a majority of those who made it a rendezvous place expressed happiness over the development.

Several employees of the restaurant who had served for over three decades, facing a bleak future following the High Court order, heaved a sigh of relief and thanked the Government for the gesture.

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