Hitting the right notes with diners, a host of city eateries in the city are now doubling up as ‘live’ music venues. A music culture, which was popularised Not Just Jazz By The Bay, (now known as Pizza By The Bay) is now a preferred add-on by several city restaurants.
“We started jazz nights at Chez Vous in July. The idea was to bring the jazz club experience, common in London and Paris, to a city like Mumbai,” says Frederic Fernandez of Chez Vous in Churchgate. At his cozy French bistro, diners can soak in performances by international and local artistes even as they enjoy their Foie Gras and Crème Brulee.
And although audiophiles have found wholesome entertainment at Bandra’s Bonobo and Lower Parel’s Blue Frog and Hard Rock Café (HRC) for a while now, a bunch of new eateries from Ghatkopar’s Café Casa Mia to Nariman Point’s Amadeus are joining the musical bandwagon. And what’s more, it all comes without the mandatory entry fee.
“There’s no charge on music nights,” say Farrokh Khambata of Amadeus at the NCPA. “We’ve been hosting gigs since the day we opened. The lounge is designed in a manner that most diners can watch a performance. The idea is to offer a complete meal — great food with unmatched music,” adds Khambata, who recently organised a flamenco night at his Spanish eatery.
With a rise in the number of musically-inclined eateries, that offer a platform to amateurs as well as professionals, city artistes have little to complain. “A slot at Blue Frog or HRC is hard to get and even if you get it, it’s just once a month,” says guitarist Sanju Aguiar of Hoodwink Circle, which performed at Casa Mia this week.
Ask him if their set list changes with the venue and he says, “At a romantic setting, diners need music that’s easily digestible, so we can’t plug in our electric guitars. Rather, we strum to covers of classics and are our mellow best.”
And while these new spaces may not provide artiste creative satisfaction, they surely give them good bucks. Even as many like Bandra’s Chez Moi and its neighbour I-Bar, which host music nights once a month, to “re-create a house party environment”, the add-on in-house entertainment also promises a good turnout with diners.
“For the first event, over 200 people attended the event. So from now on, we plan to make it an invitation-only event to ensure it is not over crowded,” feels Chez Moi’s Amman Dua.
Music nights in city
Amadeus, Nariman Point: Friday and Saturday nights (soon to start Wed and Thurs) n Casa Mia, Ghatkopar: Friday nights
Chez Vous, Churchgate: Alternate Friday nights
Cool Chef Cafe, Worli: Friday and Saturday nights
I-Bar, Bandra: Friday nights
Chez Moi, Bandra: Once a month