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Pitch fever at watering holes

delhi Updated: Mar 30, 2011 00:06 IST
Manoj Sharma
Manoj Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Stay home, stock up on snacks and enjoy the game. This is probably the best option if you want to enjoy Wednesday's India-Pakistan semi-final match because most restaurants in Delhi are already booked.

"We have about 400 seats at our three restaurants in Connaught Place but all were booked by Saturday. We still get about 200 calls every day from people requesting us to book a seat for them but we can't help them," says Pramod Joshi, general manager of Blues in Connaught Place.

The restobar, which has created a 'stadium-like' atmosphere, has hired six additional security guards and has cancelled leave of its staff to meet the crunch.

This unprecedented rush at restaurants and bars in the city has even led to some top-notch restobars charging huge entry fee.

The situation is no different at Buzz, a restobar in Saket, where Wednesday's theme is 'Dhol for Dhoni'.

"There is a mad rush of people - personally coming and making calls - to enquire about availability of seats for the match. We have no option but to turn them down as we are already booked," says Narendra Sharma, manager, Buzz.

The restaurant has hired dhol-wallahs, who will beat dhol (drum) every time an Indian batsman hits a six or four.

Besides, if you can predict a six or four, the restobar will give you a gift hamper, containing a bottle of vodka and six bottles of different kind of beer.

At Manchester United Café Bar in Gurgaon, the official café of the Manchester United Club, it's cricket that's ruling the roost currently.

The restaurant is charging an entry fee of Rs 1,500 per person for Wednesday's battle. The entry till now was free.

"We are not taking bookings on the phone; the money has to be paid in advance. We have seating arrangement for about 120 people, but we are expecting about 250 on Wednesday," says the café manager.

The cricket-themed bar, Howzatt, is flooded with about 250 calls every day.

"We opened advance booking on Sunday and by Monday all 200 seats were taken. People are requesting us to let them stand or even sit on the floor. It's unprecedented; we didn't see such a rush even during FIFA World Cup and T-20 world cup final," says Manoj Bahuguna, manager, Howzatt.