DJ Aqeel, owner of Poison, the Bandra nightspot that closed two months ago, will launch a new hotspot, Hype, inside Atria Mall soon. Poison opened in December 2005 and shut shop on August 22 after the lease expired. Aqeel and his partner, Dilip Joshi, did not negotiate a new contract.
A spokesperson of Atria Mall confirmed that Hype will start in December or early January in the food court area on the mall’s fourth level. It will be open through the week. “We have signed a contract with Aqeel on a long-term basis. Refurbishment work has begun, Hype will be located opposite China Gate,” he adds.
Aqeel admits to the new venture but refuses to reveal more details. “Call me in December and I’ll tell you everything,” he promises, saying he is going solo with this nightclub. Joshi who still runs Bling with Aqeel, is not involved and has no plans to re-open Poison.
Last week, the luxury mall Palladium got off to a heady start at High Street Phoenix. Besides Rohit Bal’s fine dine restaurant Veda, Indigo Deli and Manchester United’s (Man U) restaurant and bar will also be in service here.
Malini Akerkar confirms that Indigo Deli would be opening up its second delicatessen in India inside Palladium early next year. “Normally I don’t like being in a mall but the space we have been offered is independent. The new deli will be identical to our Colaba delicatessen in décor but at 4,000 square feet, it will be almost double the size,” she adds.
The 3,000 feet Man U restaurant, India’s first, will open to public towards the end of November. Delhi businessman Sachin Kohli, who runs the venture, with Jatin Suri under their label Billionaire Sports Pvt Ltd in partnership with Man U Food and Beverage (Asia) Pvt Ltd, says they had plans to open at the Nirmal Lifestyle Mall in Mulund earlier, but later decided “they wanted to be in the heart of the city”. Branches in Pune and Goa will open simultaneously.
The bar will have unique photos of players along with memorabilia like boots and signed jerseys by the squad. There will also be a Manager’s Bench, a replica of the one the manager and players sat on at Old Trafford, and a Wall of Fame. Man U has already made its presence in the Far East. This will mark its entry into south Asia.
Says Kohli, “We plan to hold lots of children’s parties. It will be a hangout for collegians during the day and families at night, more like a sports bar. We chose Mumbai above Delhi because there are more Man U fans here.”
The restaurant will also screen live Man U matches and other major sporting events such as Formula 1 races and show reels on the players.
Riyaaz Amlani’s company Impresario will launch The Bespoke Café inside The Collective, a luxury menswear store, which opens inside Palladium on October 9. It will serve pasta, sandwiches, wine, beer, coffee, juices and desserts to shoppers. “It will open up a few weeks after The Collective,” informs Siddhaarth Jalan, president, brands and strategy, Impresario, which also owns Mocha and the Salt Water Café.
Jalan adds that Juhu’s DelItalia is also being refurbished over the next few weeks but will not close for the revamp, refuting rumours that it is to be converted into a Salt Water Café.
Rajan Madhu, managing director of the The F Bar and Lounge in Ashoka Hotel, Delhi, which is run by Fashion TV, is planning an F bar in Mumbai and had three-four locations. “We are looking at Worli and Juhu . We should be able to confirm the location in 20 days and expect to be in business by January,” says Madhu.
F bar is a huge hit in Warsaw, Buenos Aires and Budapest but in the capital only draws hopeful expats from Eastern Europe and single men trying to score a foreign girlfriend.
Most pose as ad execs and model scouts. The finale party of the Van Heusen India Men’s Week was held here but didn’t create much of a stir.
Treat for Andheri
The Tequila Lounge in Andheri, (formerly D’Ultimate) which closed down two months ago, will return as a new restaurant and bar or club, without the tequila theme.
The multi-cuisine, 30,000 feet restaurant on the ground floor will remain a restaurant but focus will be on Indian cusine. The 4,000 square feet first floor bar will be converted into a new bar and club.
Karan Purohit, a partner of the now-closed Aziano and Monza at High Street Phoenix, is working as a consultant to Kamia Malhotra, who owns the Tequila Lounge, under her company name NextGen Entertainment Private Ltd. Purohit says they will be back by November.
Five and loving it
Zenzi, Bandra’s famous resto-pub, completed five years recently. Opened in July 2004 as an international collaboration between Indian, Israeli and Dutch partners, the venture has survived the fierce competition that eateries face in the queen of suburbs.
Says partner Matan Schabracq, “The basic idea was to create a meaningful place which is young at heart and had an international vibe.” It also has a huge clientele who vouch for the place. We asked a few regulars about their favourite hangout:
Sheetal Mallar (model)
I think it’s the coolest place in Mumbai. I’ve been eating here for the last four years. All my friends come to Zenzi. The crowd is always young and
eclectic. The casually dressed guests make you feel more at home. There’s enough place to hang around outside too.
VJ Yudi (VJ)
It’s a place with an easy attitude and vibe. The staff is friendly. My friends and I hang out here. No matter where I want to go, I always land up at Zenzi. The music here has a relaxed feel to it. Zenzi should never change.
Shamita Singha (model)
The place is chilled out. You can be yourself here. I regularly catch up with friends at Zenzi. However, it should increase its wine collection and have better cocktails. The food is great,
especially the French fries and the wasabi with mayonnaise.