BENGALURU: For a weekend, the hip and happening Central Business District was a pale resemblence of what it was just a week ago. The mood was generally sombre and disappointment was writ large on the faces of many as pubs that remained open served only food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Saturday was the first first day that pubs and bars in the CBD area went dry with the Supreme Court ban coming into force.
Footfalls at the pubs were far lesser than usual. Peco’s, Le Rock, Koshy’s, Hoppipola were among the pubs which were open but weren’t serving liquor. At Hoppipola, stags (single men) usually don’t get entry on weekends. But on Saturday, there was no such rule, and no cover charge either for entrance. Guzzlers Inn on Rest House Road was shut. A traffic police constable posted at Church Street admitted that the road seemed less crowded than usual for a Saturday.
Ashish Kothare, a member of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) committee and owner of Le Rock on Rest House Road, said, “We are keeping the pub open until 10 pm. We will take a call on how many days we will keep it open. I can’t let go of my staff because some of them have been with me for 8-10 years and it’s extremely difficult to find people.”
According to Additional Commissioner of Excise Rajendra Prasad, a total of 644 outlets were issued notices across the city and should have stopped serving alcohol from Saturday. He said figures on the number of affected outlets in the state was being compiled and the data would be available on Monday. In Ashok Nagar excise range alone, under which MG Road, Church Street, Rest House Road fall, there are 98 liquor outlets.