BENGALURU: Pub culture in Indiranagar seems to be getting gloomier by day. Monkey Bar is the latest in line to close its doors, after Humming Tree and BFlat. The pub will no longer continue to serve Bengalureans as they could not procure a public entertainment licence.
"The Bengaluru landscape has changed to an extent where it is almost impossible to run a bonafide restaurant and bar business today. As a result, the city is seeing and will see the closure of some of its inhabitants’ favourite homes away from home which will totally change the living experience for so many," said Manu Chandra, Chef Partner, Monkey Bar.
Bengaluru police brought over stringent rules under Licensing and Controlling Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005 to keep a check on pubs who play live music without a licence. However, this was later applied to pubs who even play pre-recorded music.
"A silent pub isn’t a pub as the atmosphere is completely compromised. The license meant for ‘live bands’ has come to cover pre-recorded music too, in a bizarre writing of the rules, while the two are contradictions in terms. We are unable to get a public entertainment licence owing to the demand of an Occupancy Certificate, which is out of our hands as tenants," said Chandra, adding that the industry at large has been appealing to nearly every government office to see reason in this "almost draconian law", and rationalise it. “But so far nothing has moved, pushing many business into the brink of collapse and laying off hundreds of staff,” he said.
Known for playing live music, Monkey Bar, which first set foot in the city in 2012 and later expanded to different parts of the country, is operational till November 24. "We will be back, hopefully soon," added Chandra.