They say it’s BKC, but this is all K and no B,” says Jyoti, (name changed) hairstylist at the central suburbs’ first Juice salon. Having worked in the chain’s Khar outlet for over two years, she admits that the crowd here is “a little different, but I’m hoping things will improve.”
Jyoti is one of the many hip folks who’ve been transplanted from all over the city to run the swanky new Phoenix Market City in Kurla. At 2.1 million square feet, there’s no debating this is the country’s largest mall, even if you’re not sure whether it beats the competition in Asia. It’s something the locals, all dressed up in their Sunday best to tour the four levels of the shopping juggernaut, can hardly believe. And be sure, even the most hardened mallrat will be taken by surprise at the seemingly endless corridors. There’s a new turn at every turn, literally.
The space will play host to over 300 brands at full strength. Though, if its Lower Parel cousin is anything to go by, this number could easily double. Top-of-the-line outlets like Vero Moda, Body Shop, Charles and Keith and Accessorize are already up and running, and favourites like Zara, Bebe, L’Occitane En Provence and Debenhams are rushing to join the milieu. Skincare specialists Kiehl’s and denim leaders 7 For All Mankind will make their city debut here, just in case you doubt the project’s pedigree.
If you’re looking for novelty, check out the jukebox/ phone charging station, which allows you to blast your choice of music across the entire mall. There’s also a water massage contraption, straight out of Avatar, where Rs 400 will buy you 10 minutes of being blasted with jets of water in a capsule to soothe tense muscles.
But like all mirages, this one too comes with a cruel dose of reality. Kurla won’t compromise on pelting you with the worst traffic on offer, and you might be tempted to put your therapist on speed dial after spending a few lonely hours surrounded by honking horns and kamikaze rickshaws. If only this Phoenix could help raise a flyover from the ashes…