The hub of students and alumni of Presidency College (and other colleges), which is located right opposite, as well as intellectuals, the Indian Coffee House was founded in 1942. Since then, it has continued to host top poets, artistes, literati and filmmakers including Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen, Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Narayan Gangopadhyay, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Sanjeev Chattopadhyay, Samaresh Majumdar, Subhas Mukhopadhyay and Shakti Chattopadhyay. Indian Coffee House is hailed as the venue for the well-known hungry generation literary and cultural movement in which the poet brothers Malay Roychoudhury and Samir Roychoudhury were arrested for having pioneered this movement. There are many magazines that have taken birth during discussions over cups of coffee here. It is known by all as College Street Coffee House even though it stands on Bankim Chatterjee Street.

The Coffee Board decided to start a coffee joint from the Albert Hall and soon it gained popularity. Its name was changed to Coffee House in 1947 by the government.

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