Pubs, bars face uncertain future as SC deadline nears

Pubs, bars face uncertain future as SC deadline nears

 As the Supreme Court deadline of June 30 for closure of pubs and bars along highways nears, pubs in the heart of the city are still uncertain about their future. A total of 31.8 km of highways pass through the city, putting pubs and bars along these roads in the city in dire straits.

With Brigade Road, MG Road and Church Street having the highest density of bars and pubs, owners of these establishments are hoping that the state government would find a solution to the impending problem.

Owners and customers are equally worried and feel MG Road, Church Street and Brigade will lose their sheen. Raghunath, manager of Russh Gastropub on Church Street says he is hopeful that the state government can work something out with the Centre, “We are waiting for the government notification. We hope things will change and a denotification order will be issued.”

He added that they might have to shut down for a few of days since the denotification order may not be issued before July 1.

Another popular joint, Hard Rock Cafe, received the notification a couple of days ago. Monish, the assistant branch manager, said they were pursuing the order to get a stay. “This is not just a big problem for bar and pub owners but also for their employees, whose jobs will be jeopardised,” he said.

 Monish added that if nothing works out, they will have to shut shop and wait. “If the Liquor Shop Owners Association fails to obtain a stay on the order, we will have to close our shutters for a few days.”

 Srinivas Gowda, the manager of Pecos, one of Bengaluru’s oldest bars, said he was shocked to hear that MG Road was a highway. “We have three outlets on Brigade Road and Church Street. Our customers don’t come here for food alone but for the beer. We have been serving beer for the past 30 years. We have no option but to move to another area which is not a state or national highway.”

Liquor vends on Ballari Road, Tumakuru Road, Hosur Road, Mysuru Road, K R Puram and Indiranagar also face closure.

‘Pecos my favourite ’

Archana Deshmukh, an occasional drinker said, “Pecos is my favourite. Trumps all the new 100 bars that have come up  recently. It has always been our spot and it would really break my heart to see it go.”

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