Watering holes fear dip in business this New Year's Eve

Watering holes fear dip in business this New Year's Eve

Following the Sunday night blast, watering holes and restaurants around Church Street and Brigade Road are worried about a possible dip in the number of customers for the New Year celebrations.

The incident could not have taken place at a worst time for many of these joints that were expecting a windfall during the festive season. Managers fear that their regular crowd too will choose bars and pubs in Indiranagar and Koramangala this New Year.

As soon as people at Guzzlers Inn got wind of the blast in the nearby Church Street, they cleared their bills and left, according to Chanda Shetty, manager of the pub on Brigade Road. “The place was completely empty by 9.30 pm on a Sunday. Normally, the crowd would be here till around 11 pm to 11.30 pm,” he said.

Chandra fears that it might be worse during the New Year celebrations. “The deadline for business has been revised from 2 am to 1 am and security will also be tightened around the area. People might get scared and weary of too many restrictions around here and decide to go to places like Indiranagar,” he said.

Voicing similar sentiments, Vasu Poojary, manager at Indijoe Sizzlers, another popular resto-bar on Church Street, said he had been hoping for a good turnout for the New Year, but now he is sceptical.

“The crowd that does not come here might go to Indiranagar and Koramangala due to a general fear after the incident,” he said.

Mainland China, located just a few yards from the site of the blast, easily received as many as 250 customers during festive seasons, according to assistant manager Jyotish Philip. Though he was optimistic that the unfortunate incident would not dampen the New Year spirit, he was, however, cautious about expecting too much.

“So far, no one has cancelled any reservations. I hope the incident will not affect our business during the New Year,” he said.

A popular pub in the vicinity, Pecos, has a tradition of shutting shop early on New Year’s Eve. When asked whether he expected business to pick up,  with heavy security and investigations around the area, Elangovan, managing director of Pecos, said: “Even today there are more police on the road than people. I really do not know how things will be in the weeks to follow.”

Despite it all, pub and bar owners can take heart from customers like Chaitanya Komuru who was at Pecos with a couple of his friends on Monday.

“The fact that such an incident has taken place will definitely play on one’s mind when they come around here, no doubt. However, I do not think it will affect people’s decision as much. You can take us for example. We decided to come here just a day after the blast,” he said.

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