Very few nightclubs in Mumbai make it to 10 years. In a rare case, Red Light at Kala Ghoda will do just that on March 10. Even the owners of the club agree that hitting a decade in a city like this is unusual, but they’re not complaining.
“We had an idea that we implemented when we started,” says Shashi Thadani, one of the three partners of the discotheque, adding, “When everyone was playing filmy music, we promoted hip-hop and house. Then, when they stopped it altogether, we switched to commercial stuff and began emphasising on Bollywood, which just cannot be neglected on a Saturday night in Mumbai.”
The only aspect of the club that has changed over the years has been the entry charge, which is now Rs. 1,500 (Rs. 1,000 cover). Apart from that, its decor has mostly remained the same. “A few tables were added to the floor about three to four years ago, but nothing else,” says Thadani, who, along with Ritik Bashin and Sunny Sara, runs the club. For a few years now, the rumour that Red Light too was pulling its shutters down has been around, but Thadani denies any such happening: “There have been lots of such rumours, but none is true. If we were shutting down, we would have. There are just some highs and lows in a month; the business is cyclical and seasonal.”
Meanwhile, Thadani feels that good people skills have a great deal to do with keeping the city’s party circuit entertained. But that alone is not enough to encourage young entrepreneurs to enter the industry. “Clubs need to be open a lot longer than 1.30 am. People aren’t launching any new ones because they don’t have the government’s support. With customers walking in at 12 am, we just have an hour and a half to do business. That’s not enough,” he adds. Even though Red Light has hit a new landmark, the trio has no plans to add any new elements to the venue or the experience. The only immediate step is to celebrate this birthday with a bash in a few weeks.