The government’s announcement extending the deadline for eateries brings relief to the city and its large working population.
Suneesh, a 23-year-old IT professional, said that it is not only the party animals who have a reason to cheer. “It’s not just about being able to get a drink. Many bachelors like me work late. It would be good to know that some restaurants are open if we get home late,” he said. He works in the UK shift, which ends at 9.30 p.m.
Navin Ittiyerah, a musician working in an ad agency, says that the move is “very welcome”, but hopes that the progressive streak will extend to live bands. “They must also rethink the unreasonable ban on serving liquor in places where people can shake a leg,” he says, adding that the curb has had a “stifling effect” on the music band ecosystem.
Hoteliers and bar owners welcomed the move, but struck a note of scepticism. “It’s still early to rejoice. We’d like to wait and watch how this pans out. If it does come through, it will obviously be a good thing for Bangalore, and a moment we would have been waiting for a long time now,” said Carlton Braganza, proprietor of Opus Bar.
An owner of a pub near M.G. Road said that he hoped this wasn’t a short-time measure that would be reversed after the polls. “It is obviously an attempt to woo the young.”
Eateries and bars stuck to the 11 p.m. deadline on Saturday, given that the notification hadn’t reached them officially. But the announcement created quite a buzz on social media with the city’s twitter celebs and aam twitterati welcoming the move. Biocon MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted that she commended the Chief Minister and the Home Minister for extending closing hours.
Many were seen praising the Congress government for “restoring their freedom” while a few chose to be sceptical and tweeted that the move was a populist one aimed at the youth vote with an eye on the elections.