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Chilling out gets a new meaning

entertainment Updated: Feb 22, 2008 00:48 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Hindustan Times
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Eyeing the upwardly mobile clientele, the Haryana Excise policy for the year 2008-09 has offered to provide world-class drinking experience including ice bars to consumers. This is in addition to setting microbreweries, allowing grocery stores to sell imported liquor in malls, extension of bar timings and introduction of miniature bottles. Hoteliers have welcomed the move but expressed concerns like shortage of power that may prove an impediment in its maintenance.

“The idea is to add tourists attractions in Gurgaon, which is on the world map now. The 41st Excise Policy of Haryana aims at being practical and down to earth. Ice bars, for example, would give Antarctica experience in Gurgaon to the people who are well read and well travelled,” said Ashok Sharma, the deputy excise and Taxation commissioner. Many hotels of repute such as Park Plaza, Bristol and others have exhibited their interest in the new concept.

Neeraj Sachdeva, who owns a wine selling company Lakeforest Wines, narrated his experience in an Ice Bar in London. “The visitors get to taste drinks such vodkas, scotches, Cognac and even Tequila shots in glasses made of ice. Special attires as well as boots help tippers bear below-zero temperature inside the bar,” he added.

However, restaurateur and veteran DJ Sunny Sarid, said, “Besides power deficit, oxygen level inside the Ice bars sometime drops to dangerous level and visitors are not allowed more than 15-20 minutes inside such bar.” Manbeer Chaudhary, president of Hotels & Restaurants Association, said the concept would definitely pick up in Gurgaon, as all hotels were dependent on their own captive power plants.