SC alcohol ban: After clearance, Cyber Hub returns to party mode... in a cagey way | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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SC alcohol ban: After clearance, Cyber Hub returns to party mode... in a cagey way

We checked out the first weekend at Cyber Hub, the posh nightlife centre of Gurgaon, after several restaurants here got clearance to serve alcohol. It was a night that kept the revellers happy and guards busy.

more lifestyle Updated: May 06, 2017 18:39 IST
Naina Arora
Party-goers enjoy an evening at restaurants and pubs in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, on the first Friday after alcohol ban is lifted.
Party-goers enjoy an evening at restaurants and pubs in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, on the first Friday after alcohol ban is lifted. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Group selfies, couples walking hand in hand, high fives and hugs being exchanged was the sight as Gurgaonites (we refuse to say Gurugramites!) flocked to Cyber Hub in their party togs on Friday night.

This was the start of the first weekend after 33 bars and restaurants in Cyber Hub got the licence to start serving alcohol again, following the clearance obtained from the Haryana excise department on Thursday. Cyber Hub is close to National Highway 8 and these establishments had been hit by the Supreme Court ban on the sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways, with effect from April 1. The aim was to reduce the number of accidents caused by driving under the influence of alcohol. Following a re-measurement of distance, the restaurants at Sector 29, in Gurgaon, had got clearance a few days earlier. With Cyber Hub also cleared, party nights are back in full swing.

However, while the revellers were happy on Friday, delighted to be back in their favourite watering holes, we found a curious cageyness on the part of the establishments. At most places, the establishment staff refused to speak and they interfered when we tried photographing the party crowds. A couple of guards began tailing us and then demanded that our recorded conversations (with party-goers) be deleted. Even photographs taken with camera phones appeared to arouse suspicion. A public relations executive representing Cyber Hub said that the rules for communicating with the media had changed quite a lot now.

To sum it up, the atmosphere was highly guarded.

All of that didn’t deter the revellers. They were in party mode and were grooving to Bollywood hits. Getting high was on their mind. “Yeah, that’s the plan,” said quite a few of the party people, just before they hit the dance floor. “It feels good to be back,” said Mohit Gaur from Gurgaon, adding, “I had stopped partying since the liquor ban came into effect. I didn’t support the decision, as people who wanted to have booze, were doing so regardless [of the ban]. There should be stringent checks on drunken driving.”

Misty, a Cyber Hub regular, said, “At first, I rejected my friend’s offer to come to Gurgaon. But after she told me that the liquor ban has been lifted, I was totally up for it and said, ‘I’ll see you in half hour.’” (laughs)

Some of the party-goers at the Cyber Hub in Gurgaon. (Naina Arora/HT Photo)

“Cyber Hub allows us to work hard and party harder. It’s really happening tonight. The past few weeks have been really boring. In the past month, Cyber Hub didn’t see many people coming here, as people only came during lunch hours and for family outings. It’s good to see youngsters hanging out here again,” said Aneena Kathuria, a corporate professional.

Karan Gangania, a professional from Gurgaon, echoed similar sentiments: “Jab tak yeh (liquor) nahin tha, khaali pade hue the pubs. It feels our life is back.”

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