Highway liquor ban: A month of layoffs, losses and closures in Chandigarh
The SC’s order banning sale and serving of liquor within 500m from the highways came into effect from April 1.
A month on: loss of jobs, major decline in revenue for hoteliers, and closure of some of residents’ favourite hang-outs has been the fallout.
OUTLETS BEING SHUT
The S-café in Sector 26, a lounge-cum-café-cum-bar has been shut down and has become a part of the restaurant Swagat. Another famous lounge, Satwa in the basement of Mainland China, too, is out of operation. “It is expensive to run these cafes,” says owner Manish Goyal, who is among the worst-hit hoteliers of the ban.
Some of the new establishments hit by the order are The Great Bear, Tamzaara and Peddlers in Sector 26, and The Brew Estate in Sectors 35 and 26.
JW Marriot, one of the two 5-star hotels to have been affected apart from The Taj, has closed one of its restaurants. It put on hold plans to set up a microbrewery where it had invested a few crores of rupees, sources said.
Several new ventures have held back their city launch. These include the Kingdom of Beer in Sector 26, and Farzi, a popular chain from Delhi. Social, one of the most happening establishments of Delhi, would have entered the city as well, but for the ban.
The order has affected the job market in two ways: staff are being laid off, and two, resignations have increased, since waiters, bartenders and many others depend heavily on tips. “Hotel industry has suffered 50% losses and counting,” says Sanjeev Verma, whose Pashtun is among the affected bars.