My bar, your bar, everyone's bar

My bar, your bar, everyone's bar

Blue and red LED lights constantly strike your eyes, and the blaring EDM music hits your ears. Here, all TV screens play sports channels and beer towers are a common sight, even at 12 noon. The crowd is diverse. You can find old, single men, foreigners, couples, and friends coming in huge groups. ACs might not cool the place as much as you would want them to do. So to compensate, they have desert coolers, which add a
“desi feel” to the bar.

Furniture too, is very raw and simple. Benches have high backs and tables too are higher than usual. It might be difficult to see across tables. Thus, fresh relationship romance gets sufficient privacy here.

Such is the vibe of My Bar, Paharganj, a seven year-old establishment
in Delhi.

Something which started off with not having a very good reputation, has today established itself as a brand, with one outlet in Greater Kailash I (GK I) and Hauz Khas Village (HKV), and four others in Connaught Place (CP).

“Selling cheap liquor was just an idea, my uncle Kanwaljit Singh, who was (then) based in Paharganj and knew the market here, floated. He wanted to do something to attract the abundance of tourists in the market as well as those people who always preferred drinking at home,” Aman Saluja, who currently handles My Bar Headquarters, tells Metrolife.

All outlets of the bar are reportedly handled by family relatives.

Of the seven outlets, Headquarters is their newest addition, opened last year, which is the largest My Bar. “With Headquarters, we wanted to take the brand to a level where people could not just say it’s a ‘cheap’ bar,” explains Saluja.

Serving liquor at prices cheaper than all other cafes of the area, be it GK I or HKV, the bar is now a rage in the capital. With good music, food, live shows, weekly events, happy hours, My Bar is no less than its competitors.

However, its USP still remains cheap liquor.

But no matter how popular or huge its other outlets are, even Saluja agrees that all the originality of My Bar lies in the Paharganj outlet.

Among their regular customers, some prefer only the Paharganj outlet, reasons being “comfort” and “nostalgia”.

“Here, we can drink with our very own Indianised chakhna- masala peanuts, which reminds me of the way my grandpa used to drink at home,” says Rahul Bhandari, who has been a regular customer of Pahargunj, since the past five years.

“Secondly, I always find a segregated crowd here, including foreigners and even old uncles – discussing politics in India over a glass of whiskey. This, I can’t even find at Blues, CP, which which also serves reasonable alcohol,” adds Bhandari.

Comfort, on the other hand, can be very subjective. Some people might not appreciate instances where a waiter does not attend to them on time.

But others might enjoy the friendly and casual environment. For instance, if a person from one table volunteers to participate in a game of ‘truth and dare’ being played by a group on the other table, it might end up as one of the most memorable experiences for both tables!

Today at My Bar Paharganj, if you have a female companion, you will be immediately asked by the staff to move to the basement.

So, despite its flaws, the concept of My Bar is exclusive to Delhi, and that’s what makes it special for a Dilliwallah.

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