A recent addition to the city of Chennai, EMO promises a pub experience sans the alcohol.

At Express Avenue is a newly opened place that carries all the unmistakable signs of a pub — fancy interiors, jazzy lights, tyre-like bar stools, graffiti, play of colours, plasma television and a bar area. So in the mood for something nice to quench your thirst, you flip through the menu and that's where the surprise lies.

The ‘bar' menu lists drinks that sound similar to your favourite cocktail but minus the alcohol. Yes, you read it right — a pub sans the alcohol but with the assurance of giving you a pub-like experience for those not in the mood for some, those who have sworn off it and those under-aged young ‘uns.

Take your pick

Launched last week, EMO, the “non-alcoholic pub”, is sure to offer you a unique experience with its contrast — drinking mocktails or smoothies while watching a rock band perform live. It might take some getting used to but, hey, at least it's a place your parents will be more than happy to catch you hangout.

On the menu are mocktails like Virgin Mary, Cardinal Punch, Spring Fever, Mojito and more; all names with a cocktail spin. Well, after all they do have all the ingredients of it, except for the rum or vodka that will complete it. You can also choose from a variety of smoothies, hot coffees, hot chocolate drinks or iced teas and sodas.

Complement your drink order with a pick from the food menu ranging from salads, sandwiches, pastas, the quintessential burgers and starters, many of which are sure to keep the cheese lovers happy and make the calorie-conscious ones guilty. They have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items under each category.

Their pricing cannot be labelled “expensive”; they range from Rs. 50 to Rs. 380.

Happy hours

But the best part is the close-to-pub feel that EMO exudes. Sticking to its promise, the place will have live bands playing on weekends, themed nights and DJs belting out music to keep you company. Open from 11.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m., you can also choose to sit in the air-conditioned indoors by the ‘bar' or the partially enclosed outdoors.

A few youngsters whom we caught savouring their first time here confessed that though they would love to see alcohol in the menu, good food and ambience should also do the trick of keeping the crowd coming. Even the manager of EMO reveals how youngsters walk in expecting to be served alcohol in this “pub” but turn away disappointed at finding out otherwise.

Like any new place anchored on a new concept, EMO will take time to strike a chord with its target group, but once it does there should be no looking back for this place run by partners Arun Shanmuganathan and Dolby Samuel.

At: Express Avenue, Ground Floor, F&B 04 and SRM University Main Campus

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Madhumitha SrinivasanJune 28, 2012