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Man U in Mulund now

Manchester United Café Bar in Mulund is drawing in the crowds for the FIFA matches.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2010 14:11 IST
Naomi Canton

The Manchester United Café Bar that opened its first outlet in India at the Palladium in January, has opened a second branch at the Nirmal Lifestyle Mall, Mulund. It is now where Fine Dine, a restaurant owned by Mirah Group, which has the joint franchise for the Man U Café brand in Maharashtra, was earlier.

“We were looking at Mulund when the brand came to India,” says business head Prashant Narula. “Mulund, Powai and Thane are where our target market of tech-savvy execs and yuppies live.” After Mulund, Man U Café, that is drawing in the crowds for the FIFA matches, should open, in Bandra, Juhu or Colaba.

Narula admits he is struggling to locate the ideal space. He explains, “We want to offer an extraordinary viewing experience and if there are too many columns, projection becomes an issue.” Unlike the Palladium, the 3,500 square feet Mulund outlet is sphere-shaped, like a colossal football.

“There is an illuminated football on the ceiling and a huge screen at one end. It is similar to the one at the Palladium except for the dugout seating areas that have personalised plasma screens. Also, Indian tandoori dishes have been added to the menu,” informs Narula.

The Banyan Tree is expanding

Mint Hospitality, owners of The Banyan Tree (Fort and Worli) are looking for areas in Pali Hill but haven’t locked on a location yet.“In Bandra, the rents are too steep and often the paperwork is awry. We are looking for a quaint place, with privacy and character, tucked away from the main road,” says director Gaurav Sethi, adding that they are also looking to open in Lower Parel and Juhu.

The Elbo Room in town

Owner Ravi Sharma says that he is looking at Colaba and the Palladium to open new branches of The Elbo Room, Khar. “South Mumbaikars want to have an independent neighbourhood-style pub where they can chill out. They don’t want to dress up or have to pay five-star rates, but at the same time, they want something high end,” he explains. “And yes, they don’t want to travel all the way to Bandra.”