In the last few months, we’ve lost two significant bars — Bounce in Bandra and Vie Lounge & Deck in Juhu. Though neither were the hottest party spots, they made for great plan Bs, which are equally essential.
I have fond memories of both. Bounce would come to my rescue when funds were low and when other bars were packed. A massive dusty disco ball that dangled dangerously from the ceiling there will be missed. The owners never got rid of it; it was a relic from what Bounce once was — a very shady disco. The DJ console looked like Spiderman’s training room, filled to the brim with webs and cartons. It was also one of the only places that allowed people to smoke indoors.
The owner’s attempt at redecorating the club as a sports bar was also quite misleading. There was a batting pad hanging on one wall. A life-size sticker of Sachin Tendulkar dominated another; soon, Sachin’s face was drilled out and replaced by an exhaust fan that looked bored in the blue uniform. And of course, the fact that Bounce served food from Mini Punjab, which was literally carried on trays from across the road, also made it legendary.
As for Vie Lounge, our relationship remained mostly professional. It was, somehow, never that bar you really wanted to visit. Probably because it was overshadowed by Aurus next door. But it was sea-facing and popular nevertheless.
One of my best memories of the lounge is from a few years ago when Vishal Bhardwaj hosted the success party for Kaminey (2009) there. By the time I entered with a friend, a director-writer-producer, who currently leads the indie film movement in Bollywood, had collapsed on the massive wooden deck that faced Juhu Beach. Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra walked in after, and the super windy venue made their entry filmi.
The interiors of Vie were velvety and nicely done, but people barely ever spent any time indoors. Only when the producer took to the microphone and began serenading Mr Bhardwaj, did his fans rush in. Others who were getting contemplative by the sea had gathered the attention of a bunch of homeless people on the beach. In some time, they began hurling sand and noodles (a random old guy was eating out of a bag) towards the deck. But we had already eaten.
Within no time, the space these bars occupied will be survived by other pubs that will take over. But they shall always be missed. May their cash registers rest in peace.