In the City
A checklist on where to eat and what to shop for
Kolkata night skies have grown a little dimmer in the last two months with the city being forced to adhere to an early bedtime. With the recent state- imposed curfew— a decision taken by the state government following the incident of rape at gunpoint on February 5 at Park Street, even those willing to venture out to party are politely being asked to head back home at midnight.
In a desperate effort to stay afloat, nightclubs are offering fabulous discounts on food and beverages, hosting live music events and encouraging guests to come early through special promotions of different brands. Complimentary drinks for ladies and one free drink on any order are also some other ways by which the clubs are attempting to keep the party going.
When the curfew was initially imposed, clubs such as Shisha Reincarnated, Underground or the recently shut down Venom nightclub had seen footfall barely crossing two- digit numbers. But recent figures portray a slightly upward trend. Even then Sovan Mukherjee, co- owner of city- based nightclub Nocturne says, “Footfall has decreased by an average of 50 percent since the order.” It’s a mixed blessing for DJS though, as Anshul, resident DJ of Underground, Hotel Hindusthan International says, “Now the tempo has to be raised earlier in the evening and we have to play a medley of tracks within a shorter time frame. While business has gone down, I am getting to spend more time with my family now that I can pack my bags before midnight.” The IPL season, however, has helped nightspots rake in some additional moolah. While two five- star nightclubs at ITC Sonar and The Park, where the players stay and where after- parties for the games are organised, were granted permission to stay open till 2 am on match nights, none of the rest have been allowed to welcome guests after midnight.
Benefiting from the curfew are nightspots like Maaya of Swissotel Kolkata, which does not come under the ambit of the government order, owing to its location in New Town, which is out of the city’s precinct. With Zumba and salsa sessions, Bollywood nights on Saturdays and free drinks for ladies on Friday evenings, Maaya is stepping up the promotions to woo the city crowds to New Town.
But for now, all party people in the city agree unanimously that nightlife is at an all- time low, the ‘ work hard, party harder’ line does not quite work here and now.