Remember Arshad Khan — the handsome Pashtun chad from Islamabad — who came an overnight internet sensation for his hot looks?
Five years ago, Arshad Khan, a teamaker at a small dhaba in Islamabad’s Sunday Bazaar, went crazy viral on the internet after a photographer clicked a picture of him and shared it on social media. The pictures soon went viral — fans swooned over his blue eyes, chiseled features and simplicity.
The soft-spoken young man had enjoyed an extended stint as a social media celebrity and been invited into the world of fashion and showbiz. He even worked on a music video, before suddenly calling it quits and disappearing from the public view.
Cut to 2021, the handsome chaiwala is now a proud owner of his own ‘Café Chaiwala Roof Top’ in Islamabad. His rooftop cafe is themed around truck art and, in a bid to promote Pashtun culture and heritage, vibrant colors have been used in the decorations and interior designing. Decorated with kites and paintings, Arshad’s rooftop cafe serves around 15-20 dishes apart from tea.
Arshad Khan just announced the opening of a Cafe Chaiwala outlet in London
After successfully establishing his own brand of Rooftop cafes, Arshad has emerged as a quietly confident entrepreneur. In an interview with ARY News program Bakhabar Savera, Arshad Khan maintained that he will open branches of ‘Cafe Chai Wala’ across Pakistan soon.
Now, in a bid to reach international market, Arshad has announced that he will establish his chai business in London as well. In a recent post on his official Facebook page, Arshad shared a photo himself along with the the announcement of opening a a Café Chaiwala outlet in London.
“Cafe Chaiwala will Insha Allah open it’s first café outlet in London end of this year,” the caption read. He also quoted Napoleon Hill, saying “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort.”
According to sources, Arshad Khan has signed a Franchise Agreement for running business in the United Kingdom with two of his investors and affiliates. The agreement which is unique in scope, lays the foundations for Café Chaiwala Arshad Khan to become a global brand.
The fist Café was launched five months ago in October 2020 and since then four franchise agreements have been signed. The two investors, Nadir and Yawer have considerable experience supporting and developing franchises with former based out of UK while the latter is based in USA.
With the old adage, ‘the streets of London are paved with gold’, the first Café Chaiwala outlet will open in London by the end of this year. Sources have further detailed that the first phase of the UK expansion will entail 10 outlets.
Kazim Hasan, who is also a partner in Cafe Chaiwala Islamabad, says that he saw the potential in the young man and chose to mentor him. “With ten years of experience in developing food brands in Pakistan, I am confident that the story of Cafe Chaiwala Arshad Khan will capture the imagination of the world. Arshad’s name and face are already associated with a great cup of strong tea and we are keen to share the sense of wonder his story evokes with the world,” Kazim Hasan said.
Arshad’s UK business partners, Nadir Khan Durrani and Yawer Akbar Durrani, also share this vision and believe that Arshad’s Café Chaiwala have the potential to become source of pride for Pakistan.
Fans congratulate Arshad Khan for his ultimate success
Happy for his success, many of his fans congratulated Arshad for his success and wished him well. Some of his followers were impressed by the fact that Arshad was given the opportunity to gain success and he took it.
Another user, Syed Shahdawil, suggested that Arshad opens a Cafe Chaiwala outlet in Hunza valley too. He invited Arshad to ‘participate in promoting tourism, and provide standard services to national and international tourists.’
Some even reminded him to thank the photographer who took his photo
For those who don’t know, Jiah Ali was the photographer who took the viral photograph. Arhsad was working at his chai stall when Jiah discovered him selling chai in the open-air Sunday Bazaar. Jiah was stunned by his deep blue eyes and his model-like looks so she photographed him.
She later shared her work on Instagram, marveling at his striking good looks. That’s when Arshad gained immense popularity as the ‘Chaiwala of Pakistan’.
From humble beginnings as a teamaker at a small dhaba in Islamabad to doing business on international waters, Arshad Khan Chaiwala’s journey from rags to riches is quite an interesting one.