MCD elections: Dry weekend for Delhi, more business for Gurgaon restaurants
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MCD elections: Dry weekend for Delhi, more business for Gurgaon restaurants

A 48-hour ban on serving alcohol in the state of Delhi, because of municipal elections, means all the party people will head to neighbouring Haryana, where they can get a drink.

more lifestyle Updated: Apr 21, 2017 13:48 IST
Nikita Saxena
Nikita Saxena
Hindustan Times
Dry Days,Municipal Corporation of Delhi,Elections
Dry days due to the MCD elections have resulted in a dip in Delhi businesses. (Images Bazaar)

The weekend is here, and for a change, restaurateurs in Delhi are not looking forward to it. Due to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections in the city, according to an order issued by the Delhi Excise Department, all liquor shops and bars will be closed from 5.30pm on Friday, April 21, and the ban on serving and sale of alcohol will stay in place for 48 hours, till 5.30pm on Sunday, April 23. And that means all the party people in the city are going to Gurgaon, Haryana, where they can grab a few drinks.

“We had an event tomorrow that we have now had to cancel . - Atul Kapur

It’s no surprise that hospitality business owners in the Capital are very unhappy about the situation. “We had an event [on Saturday] that we’ve had to cancel now, since the guests chose to move their party to Gurgaon,” says Atul Kapur, co-partner at Flying Saucer and QBA, adding that promotional offers don’t help in such situations. “We’ve been in the business for years and such moves have never helped. People only want to party where they can unwind with a drink of their choice.”

Some restaurants haven’t received any bookings. “As it is, the business is slow this time of the year, but this weekend, we don’t have any bookings. [The dry weekend] is really hampering our business,” says Shiv Karan Singh, owner of multiple restaurants in Delhi.

The dry days have sent our entire month’s business for a toss. - Akshay Anand

Akshay Anand, owner, HotMess Kitchen & Bar, says, “The dry days have sent our entire month’s business for a toss. We have salaries, rent, and a lot of [other] things to think of. The booking cancellations paint a bleak picture for us. Some of our customers have simply decided to postpone their bookings.”

We’ve got a lot of queries from Delhi asking if we are serving alcohol or not during dry days. - Shikhir Dhingra

On the other hand, Gurgaon business is plump. “We’ve got a lot of queries from Delhi, asking if we’re serving alcohol or not. And we’re also fully sold out. I don’t know if this is because of the weekend or the elections or both,” says Shikhir Dhingra, co-owner of Classroom.

As for those party animals who can’t go to Gurgaon, this Friday and Saturday evenings are going to be a bit boring. Viren Aggarwal, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, laments that due to the unavailability of alcohol in Delhi, his gang won’t be able to party at their favourite venues. “We always go pub-hopping in Hauz Khas Village, but this weekend, we’ve put our plans on hold,” he says. “Gurgaon is just too far away, and there’s too much traffic, so we’d rather stay home.”

However, Vaishnavi Saxena, a 22-year-old law student, doesn’t mind shifting her party stop to Gurgaon. “We have a friend’s birthday over the weekend, so of course, we’ll continue to celebrate,” she says. “Gurgaon has so many restaurants, we’re spoilt for choice. But, I have heard that these places will be jam-packed, so we’ll make our reservations beforehand.”

First Published: Apr 21, 2017 13:47 IST