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Is Juhu the new Bandra?

The city’s newest nightclub, Trilogy, opened its doors at Hotel Sea Princess last week, giving every party animal in Mumbai something to cheer about.

entertainment Updated: Sep 17, 2010 15:57 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times

The city’s newest nightclub, Trilogy, opened its doors at Hotel Sea Princess last week, giving every party animal in Mumbai something to cheer about. It joins the league of places such as Aurus, Vie Lounge, Gadda La Vida (Novotel) and Enigma (JW Marriott), where you can get a drink and dance all night without worrying about having to wind up by midnight.

When pitted against Bandra, the former entertainment hotspot which has been facing problems due to opposing residents and licensing irregularities, it looks like the party nucleus just might shift its address to Juhu.

Good response
“People have been thanking us for finally opening a new nightclub. The response has been overwhelming,” says Keenan Tham of Trilogy. “I think Juhu is developing as time goes by and there are a lot of new outlets coming up. I’ve already seen the construction of two new hotels which are sure to have food and beverage joints within their premises.”

Tham attributes the space that Juhu affords to its growing popularity. “Bandra has very limited space and it is already overflowing with restaurants and cafes. There is a tendency for bar and nightclub owners to move to places with more space. Also, the neighbourhood is posh and this helps attract the crowd.”

The early deadline issue is another aspect in which Juhu scores over Bandra. According to Puneet Gidwani of Red Om Entertainment, who used to host parties at Poison in Bandra, the early deadline is a deal breaker for most people. “People want to be able to party late if they’re out and having a good time. And Bandra doesn’t have any nightclubs.” He adds that anything new always demands attention. “They are curious to see the new place and crowds bring in more crowds. So for some time, Juhu will be the new hotspot.”

Sudeep Nair of Bombay Elektrik Projekt says that sound issues forced them to move their popular Open Mic Nights and Beer Olympics out of Bandra. “We used to even have our comedy night at Bandra’s Café Goa. But they were getting a bit noisy and causing problems for the bar. Juhu and Andheri don’t have these issues.”

Sameer Malhotra, who used to organise the popular Daddy’s Windsong music night at Juhu’s Del Italia restaurant, gives his vote to Juhu. “This city needs one street concentrated with clubs and pubs. If Juhu is developing into that, it has my vote.” Malhotra also accedes that there don’t seem to be any noise and traffic issues there. “There is more space and, of course, there don’t seem to be any complaints from the neighbours. We were all very sad when Zenzi in Bandra shut down, but given a choice, I would rather have a place in Bandra any day,” he concludes.

Staying alive
Emiliano Collazo, beverage consultant at Zenzi, isn’t ready to sign away Bandra’s popularity. “If the bar owners and ALMs design a new policy to make sure everybody benefits without causing nuisance to the residents, that will be good for Bandra. It is home to many young musicians, media professionals and artistes who need a neighbourhood bar to hang out at.”

Rajesh Sharma of Elbo Room is also confident that Juhu won’t steal Bandra’s thunder. “Rents are higher in Juhu,” he says. “And both places cater to different crowds. Mumbai is big enough for both suburbs to draw crowds without eating into each other’s profits.”

First Published: Sep 17, 2010 15:53 IST