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Is Bandra back?

With pubs like Escobar reopening, and new ones like Red Ants Cafe joining the fray, is the suburb back to its party hub days?

india Updated: Nov 26, 2010 13:16 IST
Rochelle Pinto

City nightlife took a beating when residents protested the after-hours ruckus created by party animals. That led to many of Bandra’s popular hubs like Zenzi, Escobar and Bonobo shutting shop.

Now with most of the pubs back to business, save for Zenzi, and with more like Red Ants Café joining the fray, the suburban party destination is slowly working its way back to form.

Forced to close for almost seven months, Escobar reopened its doors recently. “Luckily, our customers cooperate with all our new policies,” says a representative for the bar. “We make sure that the guests wait for their cars upstairs while the valets bring them to the building.”

The bar has also increased the number of valets to 30, along with additional parking space, since traffic complaints were the main reason they were forced to shut.

“There are many nightspots that have opened in Juhu and this helps distribute the crowd. It’s good for the city’s nightlife,” reasons the Escobar spokesperson.

The newly opened Red Ants Café off Linking Road, launched without much fanfare, a deliberate decision by the owners. “We wanted to let the crowd drift in on their own and gauge their reaction,” says Praful Nava, manager. “At the moment we don’t have bouncers because we are not publicising. Later we will hire a team.”

The pub has also taken precautions to soundproof the venue. “You wont notice the sound even if you are in the same building,” Nava adds. “We also have parking for 150 cars inside the mall premises.”

Though not forced to shut shop, The Elbo Room did come under fire, for what the administration insists, were false accusations. “They said people would be sitting on the walls and talking loudly. We have never had any such problems,” insists Rajesh Sharma, manager. “We have a team outside during our peak hours to manage traffic. The road we are situated on, is empty at night and there is enough place for parking.”

Sharma is assured that the worst is over. “I think we are over that bad phase,” he mentions. “I maintain that if you have all licenses in place and are obeying all the rules, then nobody can shut you down.”