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Established in the 1960s, Garden Town was the epitome of posh living in the 1980s and home to celebrities and affluent businessmen. Although the celebrities have moved on to other areas, Garden Town remains an upscale and coveted area, with large houses, wide roads and plenty of greenery.
Market, malls and meals… Barkat Market forms the commercial spine of Garden Town, offering everything from grocery stores to bakeries, boutiques and DVD stores. The Market is a well-known foodie destination; in addition to numerous fast food franchises, several eateries are located there, including Karachi Biryani House and Mei Kong Chinese Restaurant, as well as a selection of desi alfresco and dhaba style dining options with menus boasting all-time favourites such as dahi bhallay, gol gappay, haleem, halwa puri, nan chanay and shawarmas.
Corporate characteristics… Barkat Market is surrounded by multi-storey office buildings, many of which have been built over the last two decades. The businesses operating there include banks, law firms, TV networks and studios, travel agents, pharmacists, opticians, computer and mobile shops. A few wedding halls have cropped up recently, the most well known being Mughal-e-Azam.
Higher education and healthcare… Garden Town has numerous schools, colleges and universities as well as several accountancy schools; similarly, healthcare facilities are more than adequate with several hospitals and clinics scattered throughout the area.
Culture and nature… Garden Town does not offer much in terms of recreation but it is clear that its residents are keen on culture and nature. The neighbourhood probably got its name from the several small but beautifully manicured parks that dot the community and provide fresh air and green open spaces. Residents are particularly proud of the famous Shakir Ali Museum and Art Gallery which houses the work of the acclaimed artist. Adjacent areas such as Model Town, one of Lahore’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, provide a variety of recreation options including the Model Town Sports Club, a library and upscale dining avenues.
In a nutshell… Despite the commercialism and glass and concrete, Garden Town retains some of its retro charm from the 1980s. Its convenient location, affluent living style and wealth of shopping and dining options combine to make Garden Town one of Lahore’s most desirable residential districts.
– Syed Wajeeh ul Hassan Naqvi