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Year-end cheer for bars recovering from inactivity

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Year-end cheer for bars recovering from inactivity

QUOTES

We hope the makeover of the street will be completed by December 31 and we will have more footfalls
– Liton Saha, manager, Easy Tiger pub

If the authorities want to separate us in the name of security, we will choose another place
– Mayur Verma, student

BENGALURU, DHNS: Bars and pubs in the vicinity of MG Road, hit by a mid-year suspension of operations, are looking forward to brisk business on New Year’s Eve.

Hundreds of liquor vends remained closed from July 1 for about four months, following a Supreme Court order.

The court had directed governments to enforce a ban on the sale of liquor along highways.

On paper, MG Road is a national highway. The court eventually said the order did not apply to highways within municipal limits. Businesses began to limp back to normalcy from November 13.

Other problems have dogged the posh shopping area. Church Street, which houses dozens of bars and restaurants, has remained dug up for a major part of the year.

Liton Saha, manager of Easy Tiger pub, said, “We hope the makeover of the street will be completed by December 31 and we will have more footfalls.” The cover charge at his restaurant is Rs 1,000.

Raghu, who manages Le Rock on Brigade Road, said, “We have limited offers this year because of the losses. Our attraction is that we have a DJ night for our customers,” he said.

Deepak Batavia, president, Church Street Shop Owners’ Association, said, “The BBMP has assured us the stretch will be free for pedestrians on New Year’s Eve.”

Some shop owners have suggested men and women be given exclusive spaces to celebrate, but the idea, many say, is impractical.

Party time, but at home

Charmi Y Shith, a student, said the restrictions would push people to usher in the new year in the comfort of their homes.

Tasneem Sulthan, a techie, said families would like to be together on a night of partying.

“It doesn’t make sense to separate men and women. It’s not just about boyfriends and girlfriends, even families celebrate New Year together,” she said.

Activist Peter Samson Babu feels separate areas are no solution. “If the police can’t secure even a 2-km radius, what is the purpose of the home ministry and the commissioner?” he said.

Mayur Verma, a student, said, “If the authorities want to separate us in the name of security, we will choose another place.”

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