Soon, Delhi will be able to have extended night parties with the excise department proposing to allow liquor, music and food at five-star night clubs till 1am.
Currently, while the excise licence allows five-star hotels to serve liquor round-the-clock, the Delhi police licence for eateries permits serving of food only till 1am and playing of music and dance at night clubs and discotheques up to 12.30am.
According to sources, the 1am deadline translates into the last drink being served at 12.30, because the bar has to shut down by 1am.
Sources in the Delhi government said that a meeting was held recently in which officials of the excise department and police discussed the issue. They agreed to extend the serving of food and playing of music inside such clubs, resto-bars located inside five-star hotels till 1am.
“A proposal has been made and it will be sent to the chief secretary and the Lieutenant Governor for approval. All clubs inside five-star hotels will be able to serve food till 1am and music will not be stopped till1 am too,” said JB Singh, excise commissioner of Delhi.
The Delhi Police said they would comply with the directions issued to them by the L-G’s office. Sources further said that the differences in the timings of food, liquor and music had put hoteliers in a fix making them face the ire of the customers as well as the authorities.
Senior Delhi government officials said that though they wanted to extend the timings till 2am, the Delhi police officials cited security concerns, including the December 16 gang rape case, to oppose the move.
“Though five-star hotels have a licence to serve liquor throughout the day but without food and music who would want to sit there? It makes no sense. Around the world, bars and discotheques function till 3-5 am. Delhi is the only exception it seems as even the Bangalore police has allowed bars and restaurants to serve liquor and food till 1am,” said a hotelier who did not wish to be named.
Recently, a hotel association had submitted a memorandum to the chief secretary of Delhi asking him to look into the issue of timings of five-star hotels as it was having an impact upon the image of the city too.