For a city that is widely considered to be a ‘happening’ place, there are almost no options available for people craving a midnight snack or late dinner. This is because the 11.30 pm deadline for hotels and restaurants to shut is usually enforced by 11 pm by reluctant owners, or worse, by lathi-wielding policemen.
However, there may be good news on the horizon for those looking for midnight bites, if Ramalinga Reddy, Bangalore In-charge Minister, has his way. While bars and other places serving alcohol would still have to stick to the deadline, the Minister said he was in favour of keeping hotels open in the central business district and other areas with a considerable night-time population.
Speaking to Express, Reddy said “The City Railway station, bus stand and other areas, where people are present all the time, can be considered for allowing hotels to stay open.” He explained he had made a recommendation on the issue to the government, and it was being examined by the Chief Minister.
Demands to relax the closing hours for hotels have been persistent in the city, which caters to a large population of professionals, who work during night. Bangalore has earned the ‘Silicon City’ tag with thousands working according to different time-zones. However, when it comes to late-night eateries, the city does not even have a single option for most of these professionals.
‘’I leave office around 1:00 am daily and am forced to eat at a roadside stall. Otherwise, it is the office cafeteria, which serves the same food daily. What is the government’s problem with keeping restaurants open?,” wondered Kaushik, who works in Bagamane Tech Park. Another section of city residents fume that ‘unrealistic’ regulations imposed on bars and pubs have killed Bangalore’s once-thriving nightlife.
“I can understand that police are not able to patrol all night and have imposed deadlines. But, why do they have to barge into a pub and stop us from dancing? You cannot even dance at your table at a nice place: that is how much the police has scared the staff,” said Usha, a resident of Indiranagar.
However, do not expect immediate relief for your late-night hunger pangs as government officials emphasised that there will not be any change to the deadline soon.
The city, once famous for its pub crawling circuit and concerts at Palace Grounds, has seen a ban on live music and pubs/hotels staying open after 11.30 pm.