At 9 pm last Saturday night, a group of over 40 people had taken over The Lazy Dog (aka TLD) in Fort. Beer was being chugged, the conversation was flowing and it was a generally merry scene. No one would have imagined that a majority of that group had only met each other for the first time earlier that evening. An hour in, and they were clinking glasses, sharing cocktails and taking down each other’s Twitter handles. As if on cue, the successful tweetup then shifted to Town House Café, also in Fort, and then hit Woodside Inn in Colaba.
This pub crawl was the first event organised by a group of three city professionals
— Chandrima Das (@hackiechan), Bhavin Shah (@OneChilledBeer) and Aditi Mallaya (@Bacardidevi) — under their new initiative that goes by the handle @bombaybarhopper. “We did not expect it to do this well,” says Das, who works as a management consultant. The good part is that these three aren’t the only food and drink enthusiasts who double up as event organisers on certain days.
The trend of making plans on Twitter to meet complete strangers at bars and eateries to bond over food, alcohol and good music has been there for a few years now. However, new concepts keep emerging and older ones constantly reinvent themselves to keep the ‘tweeple’ interested. Professional photographer Roycin D’Souza (@RoycinD) started out organising beer-and-burger nights on Twitter a long time ago. Now, he has set up the Bombay Barbeque Club (@BombayBBQClub). Founder of the Mumbai Food Lovers community, 29-year-old Harsh Jhaveri (@MumbaiFoodLover), is a diamond merchant, who has been organising “food, pizza, burger and dessert crawls” under the handle, @MFLVentures, for a year now. “At times, we even ask people what they would like to do the next time and then do just that,” says Jhaveri.
Twitter profile @petpujaris is another such venture that has been in this business for almost two years. “It’s our passion. We don’t make any money from this,” says founder Kumar Jhuremalani (@Deutero), a 26-year-old who handles regional marketing for Canvas Laugh Factory, Lower Parel. His friend and also the co-founder of this handle, Sushil Cherian, has now taken this concept to Bengaluru.
Wine expert Aneesh Bhasin (@aneeshb), who co-founded the company Indian Wine List, organises similar sessions called Wine Wednesdays once in two months under the
handle, @IndianWineList. “The idea is to basically have a casual wine evening, where we taste a few bottles of wine and go through the basics… the whole point is to take the snobbery element away from wine,” says Bhasin.
One more thing that all these initiatives have in common is the fact that no one makes money from them. Not yet, at least. So if you’re open to the idea of sharing a meal or a drink with a bunch of strangers by risking absolutely nothing, then there’s a social experiment waiting for you. All you need to do is follow these handles and watch their timelines.
For the Drinkers
Gateway Brewing Co
If you were thrilled when Barking Deer started brewing its own beer, then you’ll like this. On November 24, the founder of this company — @rahulGBC — tweeted: “Installing draught beer equipment for @gatewaybrewery tonite 1am onwards at 4 bars. Mumbai is going to have some kickass beers on tap soon! (sic).”
Yeast India Company
They’re on a mission to bring a variety of top international beers to a bar near you. On December 1, they will launch Iron Maiden’s Troopers beer at D’Bell, Lower Parel. “In the coming time, we also hope to bring many other brands like these to Mumbai,” says Rohan Bhalla, co-partner, Yeast India Co.
Happy Hours India
From information about ladies’ nights to karaoke evenings and, of course, several happy hour deals, this handle makes sure you get access and regular updates on the best food and drink deals around town.
Who’s Doing the Tweetups
This brand-new gang organised its first pub crawl in south Mumbai last weekend and it met with great success. The next bar crawl is expected to take place in Andheri in December.
Bombay BBQ Club
This group is always on the lookout for people who have access to outdoor locations to host their BBQ sessions at.
Mumbai Food Lovers
Their last event was a dessert crawl that took place on October 6. The idea of this community is to “celebrate the variety of foods that Mumbai has to offer”. The next tweetup will be a sailing-and-breakfast session that will take place in south Mumbai.
They have options for you: you can either attend their phatka tweetup (it takes place at the start of a month and costs `500) or there is the kadka tweetup (it takes place towards the end of a month and costs you not more than `300). They also have a Breakfast Club for those interested in waking up early. Their next tweetup, which is going to be “a mini chaat walk” will take place tomorrow (November 30) in Bandra.
Indian Wine List
For amateurs and experts alike, Wine Wednesdays (that are hosted by the Indian Wine List at a variety of venues) hope to “take the snobbery element away from wine” with blind tastings and appreciation sessions once every two months.
When this food blogger isn’t writing or eating, he’s leading a group of willing foodies to a variety of restaurants across the city.
If you think you have what they need then write to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.