Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Fears for cheers? Key meeting today will decide the future of bar timings



The city’s restaurant and bar owners are meeting with the Commissioner of Police today, to discuss relief measures, as a follow up to a meeting they had with him on Tuesday. This comes in the wake of police ordering the closure of 107 pubs and restaurants for playing music without availing licences under the Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order of 2005, over the weekend.

However, given the BJP’s government’s chequered history of cracking down on Bengaluru’s nightlife, do recent developments suggest that the state government is in favour of reverting to the old curfew of 11.30pm? For instance, recently, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted that public safety is important than nightlife. In addition, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan told this reporter that commercial activities in residential areas are not appreciated.

Meanwhile, bar and restaurant owners BM spoke to are hoping for the best. Reverting to the old deadline is not even a “possibility”, says Ajay Gowda, director of Byg Brewski Brewing Company and Bob’s Bar. “Nuisance (as often reported by residents) can happen at 10pm or 1pm. So it’s not fair to single out pubs, bars and restaurants.” In fact, in the future, he would like to suggest to the government that the curfew be extended to 3am in the core commercial areas. “This will be good for the international image of Bengaluru,” he adds.

Likewise, Dilip Nair, director of operations, 1131 Bar and Kitchen, and House of Commons, doesn’t think the curfew timing will be advanced. “Pub timings have nothing to do with the live music ban or even drinking because people can stay back at home, order drinks or stock them up and then go out and create a nuisance.”

Hayne Fernandes, General Manager, Arena – Artisanal Brewkitchen, Indiranagar, says “he doesn’t have any concrete information on whether the deadline will be advanced. “What I have been told is that music might be stopped at 10pm, but pubs and bars will be allowed to function post that.” This, he believes, will hit nightlife in the city hard. “About 80% of the working crowd in Bengaluru finishes work at 6.30pm-7pm. If they head out to have dinner or drinks they’ll obviously spend two-three hours at a venue. It’ll be better if we can go on till 11.30pm-12am, otherwise the city will have no social life, and every venue will just become a fine dining restaurant. There are other things we want to bring up as well, but we’ll save that for the meeting with the Commissioner.”

The Bengaluru chapter of National Restaurant Associ­ation of India (NRAI) is trying to do all it can before it’s too late. Last Saturday, seven members of NRAI-Bengaluru, Gowda included, met the deputy CM, to seek relief from the live music conundrum. “We asked him to consider putting music played at restaurants and bars under the exclusions clause of Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005 just as classical music and dance are. We told him that banning live music would be detrimental to the easy and progressive image of Bengaluru. He has assured us of necessary help.”

As per the new norms, the owners of bar and pubs have to approach the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Fire and Emergency Services, electric contractor to get occupancy certificate, fire safety certificate, certificate on safety of electrical installations.

As many as 400 more pubs and restaurants could be closed down in the absence of these permissions, which is why venue owners want the state government to establish a single window for issuing the licence. “We are not against availing licence but it has become a tough task to meet the criteria to avail the licence. There is no provision for the fire and emergency services department to issue licence for a building with two to three floors,’’ says Sunil Kumar K of Double Decker.

It is estimated that around 25000 jobs are at stake if most of the bars and restaurants are closed. Owners say that most customers visit lounge bars to enjoy music, and they will be left with few customers if not allowed to play music.

The other factor that has become a hassle is opposition from residents’ welfare associations at Indiranagar, Koramangala and other areas in the city.

“We are against zonal violations in residential areas. There should be no commercial activities in residential areas. I am not against to nightlife but it should not affect the residents,’’ says Suresh N R of Nam­­ma Bengaluru Foun­dation.

Coming down heavily on commercialising residential areas, I Change Indiranagar founder Sneha Nandihal has said the nightlife has affected the residents in Indiranagar. “I appeal to the authorities concerned to revert to old timings for night life in the city. Drunkards never go home after pubs close at 1 am. They continue chatting or arguing on the road as per their whims and fancies without bothering about the residents. Last night, a few drunkards were seen operating a defunct borewell. They are not bothered about children, women and senior citizens in the area,’’ says Nandihal.

Emphasising the need to shift pubs and restaurants to commercial zones, Nitin Seshadri, former secretary of Koramangala 3rd phase residents’ welfare association, says these venues, especially those located on narrow roads, have become a nuisance for the residents. “Vehicles are parked haphazardly on narrow roads thus causing lot of inconvenience to the residents. I am against carrying commercial activities in residential areas.”

Fernandes, General Mana­ger, Arena – Artisanal Brewkitchen, Indiranagar, says they are cognisant of not inconveniencing residents. “Some venues have even gone to the extent of soundproofing their interiors, so as to not inconvenience people in the area. So when decisions are made, that should also be taken into account to give us some leeway,” he says.

With inputs from Sowmya Rajaram and Barkha Kumari.

Recommended for you