He once ran Seijo and the Soul Dish, a high-end restaurant and bar in Bandra. But now Kishore DF has turned his back on expensive posh bars and started his first neighbourhood-style value-for-money pub instead.
The first WTF! (which apparently means whatever you want it to) opened up in Khar, on the former premises of Simply Goa, on Saturday. The grungy pub seats 130 and the courtyard section has a real cart from Jaipur, a village charpoy, wooden tables and chairs, and classic signage on the walls.
The music is Bombay retro (western pop from 80s and 90s), while drinks and food are cheap. A glass of Sula white wine is Rs 185, and a beer costs just Rs 120.
Kishore is targeting people in their 20’s who know what a beer is, “but may not know what sushi is. I used to focus on niche brands like Seijo, but there is more room in Mumbai for the likes of Hawaiian Shack and Toto’s, which are about value, where lifestyle is incidental,” Kishore explains.
Seijo and The Soul Dish is one of the brands owned by Waterblue Restaurants and Food, which Kishore co-founded in 1994. He is no longer involved with its operations but remains a shareholder.“Nobody has created a chain of budget bars in Mumbai, yet they exist across the world and I see an opportunity here,” he says.
“They don’t say ‘look at me’. They’re not about being seen with the right people – but are about value,” he says, adding “Many bars in Mumbai have ridiculous prices where you have to pay Rs 600 a drink. Even in London you get cheaper drinks than in most bars here,” he says.
“There are more Levi’s sold than Armanis and with the high rents around, I would rather be a Levi’s,” he asserts. Plans are on to open WTF! in Vashi and Andheri next.
WTF!, Vora Building, opposite Mumbadevi School, Khar (W).
Tel: 022 2648 6233.