Revellers prefer Indiranagar, Koramangala

The New Year party in the city is no longer just at Brigade Road and M.G. Road. Those leafing through party announcements will find that Indiranagar and Koramangala are giving the central business district a run for revellers’ money.

Take 25-year-old media professional Sanjana Shetty, for example. For her gang of friends, for whom wining and dining at the most happening resto-bars every New Year is almost a ritual, heading all the way to M.G. Road from their homes in and around Marathahalli is no longer a sound option. “We obviously drink if it is a New Year party and being stuck in the chaos on Brigade Road past midnight is not a good idea as the group mostly has women. Indiranagar is a lot closer and the celebrations are more subdued,” she said.

Parthiv K., a 31-year-old advertising professional, is a resident of Vijaynagar. He will be driving across town with his wife and friends to Indiranagar 100 ft Road. “On that road alone, there are easily more than 50 good restaurants, pubs and microbreweries. The criterion is to usher in the new year with people you care about, at a nice place, over a good meal. Going to an overly crowded Brigade Road does not fit the bill,” he explained, when asked why they don’t find a place closer home.

Steady crowd

Ashish Kothare, president of the Association of Bars, Restaurants and Pubs, and owner of Le Rock and Legends of Rock, said Koramangala and Indiranagar are emerging as alternatives to the CBD. “Vehicles aren’t allowed in the CBD on that day in the evening. Our pubs have been getting steady crowds, being houseful every year. Places such as UB City too have been doing well, but are exorbitantly priced. Koramangala and Indiranagar have good places for people to go to,” he said.

Early deadline

The early deadline too can be a dampener. The police recently issued an order issuing ‘no objection’ from their side to pubs and restaurants staying open till 1 a.m. Pubs and restaurants were required to get a licence from the Excise Department to serve liquor beyond the usual deadline of 11.30 p.m., an excise inspector attached to the Ashoknagar division said.

However, some pubs in the CBD are happy to down their shutters early on New Year’s Eve. The manager of a popular pub on Residency Road, on condition of anonymity, said every year, they prefer to close by 9 p.m. “The number of guests increases after 9 p.m. as many come to Brigade Road. In pubs, which are already filled to capacity, it becomes difficult to handle more people. Business would double on December 31 but we want to avoid the risk of brawls and other unsavoury instances where people leave without paying,” he said.

One pub’s loss is another’s gain. The staff of a popular pub in Indiranagar said they already had 50 per cent reservations for December 31. The pub, usually known to serve food and drinks at reasonable prices, has an entry fee for that day — Rs. 5,000 per couple — and is expecting to be full house (the capacity is 350).

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