“The Happening Haunt”

The party scene in Delhi NCR has truly evolved over the past few years – from a select few nightclubs in star hotels, to a plethora of standalone nightclubs/bars/pubs/resto-bars – today we are spoilt with choice. What’s more – now both Delhi and Gurgaon have their own party hubs; HKV and Cyberhub, where one can start their evening at an inexpensive place (in order to get the alcohol levels right in the system without burning a hole in your pocketJ), hop on to different genres of music and probably end their night listening to some soulful Sufi tracks. All this in one place – sounds awesome doesn’t it?

So, what is it that makes a particular nightclub/bar/pub/resto-bar, (I actually don’t know what to call them hence the multiple names :), so to make things easier henceforth I’ll refer to them as haunts) the most happening place in Delhi NCR? Could it be the music, the events they do, the crowd, or the pricing? Well yeah, there is no doubt that all this contributes, but you know what? Sadly that’s not what makes it the most happening place! To be the most happening place, first and foremost you have to be NEW!!! Then you have to have an air of snootiness around you (essentially you create an imaginary one). With these two essential boxes ticked, you my friend, could be eligible to be called the most happening haunt in Delhi. Reasons for this being obvious: who in Delhi NCR would not want to be seen at the new place that’s popped up? And more importantly, upload a picture on Social Media, because you sure as hell, want the world to know that you managed to get into the most happening haunt! That’ll increase your social quotient by notches in an instant! 😉 It’s this hype that, sorry to say, we as customers create and make a haunt the most happening one; and that’s where the problems arise.

They take advantage of us, us the ‘ever so poor and gullible customer’. Once a haunt knows that it’s succeeded in becoming the most happening place in Delhi NCR, according to them, they have achieved Nirvana. They feel that now the customer is not important to them and hence can be treated with utter disdain and still nothing – absolutely nothing can be done to them!. Here are  a few things they usually do:

  • Restrict entry: Before I expand further, I am fully in support of crowd profiling in order to ensure that your haunt builds a good reputation and you let the right kind of people in. But I’d like to know the point of not allowing people in, even when your place is not full up to its capacity? Maybe, you are in your right to do this when there are stags, but with couples? (like WTF?) The other day I ended up reaching one of these so called ‘happening haunts’ in Delhi about half hour after the rest of my group (it was around 23:15 hrs). On reaching the gate the bouncer rather politely refused us entry and went “Sorry Sir, entry closed”. I tried explaining to him that I had a couple of friends waiting inside and he refused to listen! On hearing his “Sorry Sir, entry closed” line a couple of times, I requested him if I could have a word with the Manager to which I got a stern “Sorry Sir. He is busy”. I called up my friends who were already inside, hoping that would help,; but that didn’t change his reply. The friend I was with, told me that the last time she did this she was 20, and neither of us should bother begging people to allow us in. I fully agreed with her and just as we were about to leave, a friend of mine who knew the manager through a friend managed to haggle it out, and we finally entered. By then it was midnight and the guy at the bar promptly went, “Last Order”! The funny part here was, that from the gate I could see that the place was not full to its capacity, so I really didn’t understand what they were trying to establish by refusing entry to not only me, but another 10- 15 odd people, who were waiting outside.
  • Getting a drink: Just when you thought getting to the most “happening” haunt in Delhi NCR was the tough part, you’re proven otherwise. Getting a drink, that night, was almost as difficult as scaling Mt. Everest for me! Looking back now, I feel, I should have planned it better!  And that’s what places here expect us to do, decide who’d be going to go get the drink – do you think he will serve a girl faster, or maybe knowing the bartender would help because if he recognizes you, he’ll serve you faster? There are quite a lot of mind games attached. So let’s get a couple of things straight:                                  Bartenders are not doing me a favour by serving me a drink! I’m paying for it and hence you better serve it to me with a smile. Yes, the bar is crowded, but again there is a way of handling customers at the bar. And making a grumpy face or completely ignoring customers when they are standing at the bar asking you for a drink – definitely doesn’t help. It’s your job to serve me that drink, not my job to beg you for one.. If you smile and serve me, it’s not going to cost you much! Just because you man the bar, behind Delhi NCRs most happening club, you are not God’s gift to mankind!
  • Serving “ONLY” Premium brands: Don’t we all know that this is the oldest trick in the book? You go to the bar and ask for an IMFL brand of liquor; chances are the bartender will say that it’s not available. So you then you ask him what he has, and chances are the reply will include premium brands which will obviously burn a hole in your pocket! I’m quite sure if I pick up the menu of that place, they’ll have all the domestic brands listed on it, so why fool us by saying it’s not available? I do get the fact that you want to make A LOT of money, but this, my friend, is downright cheating!

But you know what? This title of being the most ‘happening’ haunt is very short-lived. It changes hands rather fast and I feel that if these ‘haunts’ manage to get some of the above mentioned things right, then maybe, just maybe, they’d get to keep that crown on their head for a wee bit longer!

Kanav Mata

-Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer

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