The partners of Bootleggers have quit their business. Sushant Kamath, 31, and Kumar Patel, 35, opened the old-world American-style pub in 4th Pasta Lane in Colaba in April 2008. But they have now quit the scene and are focussing on their real estate businesses. Reason: the pub had not done as well as they’d hoped.
However, it has not closed. Manoj Engineer, owner of Pipewala Building where Bootleggers is situated, is managing it and has renamed it, Boots.
The location previously housed Hawaiian Shack until it shut in 2007.
Kamath and Patel’s vision had been to make Bootleggers a neighbourhood pub with plasma TV screens, a pool table, dart boards, weekly quiz and film nights. They designed it with exposed bricks and dim lighting, mimicking the 1920’s speakeasy pubs in the USA (which had illegally served alcohol during the Prohibition era.)
DJs played house, rock and retro music, and it served Indian and Chinese food. Kamath says: “It was not doing as well as we had expected it to. At first, it was the terror attacks, then the economic slowdown. I also feel the location was a bit out of the way. After Nariman House, a lot of people stopped coming to that side.”
Kamath says they haven’t ruled out opening a pub again. But if they do, it will be in the suburbs.
“We had been hoping to attract the regular clientele from South Mumbai and the corporate sector. We did manage for a while but South Mumbai is not
happening any more. All the action is in the suburbs. Some places do well over the weekend but the suburbs always have more consistent business. So many places in South Mumbai have closed down - Three Flights Up and Henry Tham being examples,” he adds.
The duo had been looking at properties in Bandra to open a branch of Bootleggers there, but had found rents too high. “Our plans to open up in Bandra are on hold. Bootleggers, as a brand, has shut,” Kamath confirms.
Engineer is now managing the building but is looking for new partners to take over the lease. “If I don’t find anyone, I will renovate it. But the pub is not closing down,” Engineer stresses. “The décor is the same and we have DJs every night. We manage to draw a good crowd over weekends.”