One of the first Bandra bars forced to shut down, Bonobo on Linking road had its first weekend opening in three months on Friday, August 6.
Despite the small crowd, the mood in the bar was upbeat, with regulars and friends turning up to show their support. One of the bar’s owners, Sahil Timbadia, is glad that three months of running around trying to obtain permits and stave off the warring Area Locality Managements (ALM) have come to an end.
“We needed a legal document regarding traffic and parking issues that had recently been made a rule for mall establishments. That is the only reason we shut down. Unfortunately, though we had applied for the permit in advance, the authorities were taking very long because of pressure from the ALMs.”
Though the bar’s reopening is a good sign for all, Timbadia is taking precautions to ensure they stay out of the ALMs warpath. “We have employed extra bouncers and valets so that there are no traffic problems. We even keep a check on the road during the day so that residents are not caused any inconvenience. Customers also understand and comply with the extra security measures,” he says.
Ask him whether the past three months have made him paranoid about being forced to shut again and he responds, “I’m worried that Mumbai is becoming an intolerant place. Whether it’s because of an ego trip or something else, these Alms are targeting us without even trying to come up with a solution. We are young entrepreneurs who are providing jobs and a form of entertainment to others.”
Timbadia also insists that as bar owners, they are also part of Bandra and should be able to present their side of the story. “If you look at the ALM committee members, there are no young people being represented. The members also insist that they don’t know us and don’t want to. So how can they criticize something they don’t understand”