Investors not game for ice bars in city | india | Hindustan Times
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Investors not game for ice bars in city

india Updated: Feb 21, 2012 01:51 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

Even four years after the Haryana government introduced a special licence category for setting up ice bars, not a single investor has shown interest in setting up the high-end facility for partygoers in the Millennium City.

Now the government has decided to reduce the annual licence fee from R4 lakh to R1 lakh to woo players of liquor industry to open ice bars.

The facility, which has been successful in cities across the globe, including London, Melbourne, Stockholm, Shanghai and Dubai, offers its visitors a freezing atmosphere along with snow-made couches and glasses to enjoy hard drinks.

As per the earlier excise policy, only those with a regular bar licence that costs R6 lakh were allowed to apply for the licence of an ice bar at an additional fee of R1 lakh.

But now, anyone interested in setting up an ice bar can obtain the licence for R1 lakh only.

The state government had floated the concept of theme bars in 2008-09. Last year, only one ice bar came up at MGF Metropolitan Mall in Saket in New Delhi.

Industry experts attribute the lukewarm response towards the ice bar concept to the high running cost and inadequate power supply in the city.

Besides the capital of around R2-3 crore, the running cost of such a set up is very high, said Shekhar Singh, who is involved in setting up of new bars, pubs and micro-breweries.

“The project involves uninterrupted electricity supply and huge running expenses, besides the licence fee. All these factors dissuade players from investing in this new concept. Dearth of electricity in Gurgaon is a big issue,” he added.

Manbeer Chaudhary, president of Hotels and Restaurants Association of Haryana, said that since the licence fee has been reduced, those interested in exploring the new idea can think of setting up an ice bar.