The Storytellers Bar
The newest address for craft cocktails, delicious food and live acts, The Storytellers’ Bar is more than a bar, as the soul of the space is made of stories, not brick and mortar. It reveals nuanced stories of Pondicherry’s exciting past, present and future. The versatile space has been co-created by Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign; Simran Mulchandani, Co-Founder Mach One Associates & Blue Frog; Ayaz Basrai, Co-Founder, Busride Design Studio and Kapil Thirwani of Munro Acoustics.
Located at Hidesign’s sea-facing Promenade hotel, the Bar’s architecture is a quaint mix of the city’s French colonial vibe and its spiritual roots. Much of the design considerations came from the actual site, with booths that tackle the long space, pastel shades to keep away from the underground vibe, and the use of local materials — like Indian Patent Stone (IPS), a cement-based floor treatment commonly used in South India, and Chettinad tiles from its neighbour.
Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign
Music is the most widely enjoyed entertainment, and Pondicherry had no such space. There was a need to provide a space for artists from our community, and to those who want to share their art with Pondicherry from all over the world
Simran Mulchandani, Co-Founder Mach One Associates & Blue Frog
We are looking at theatre, comedy, poetry, film, photography, art as stories can be expressed in so many ways and The Storytellers’
Bar has been set up to explore those avenues. Also it isn’t just our vision, this is a community project and we want the community, be it residents of Pondicherry and Auroville, or visitors to the town, to contribute with their thoughts, suggestions and stories.
Tales At The Bar
According to the founders, The Storytellers’ Bar décor is influenced by the rich legends and romances that float around the city: of ghosts and seamen, of austere yogis and hippies, of visitors and residents. The highlight of the space is the sloping ceiling, with the gold lettered signage, The Storytellers’ Bar, is abode to about 150 hardbound books from the local Puducherry vintage book store. The journals or ‘Story Books’ that guests fill out with their tales, will become part of the production and evolution of the wall of stories.
Songs, Acts & More
A multi-faceted space that is a bar / cultural hub in the evenings, supports intimate jazz gigs; larger world music / experimental shows; poetry, film festivals, DJs. Patrons can order a drink, and enjoy the Bar’s stateof-the-art acoustics, designed by Kapil Thirwani. The Storytellers’ Bar will curate a wide-ranging programming calendar featuring prominent acts from Pondicherry, India and around the world. Dilip Kapur explains, “Having grown up in Auroville and Pondicherry, cultural exchanges have always been a part of my life. This project is an ode to those who share my passion for adventure, exploration and weaving together historical stories and legends. It’s what makes up the social fabric of a place.” •
The space is a blend of the French Colonial tropical vibe to the Aurobindo Ashram’s asceticism, to Auroville’s quirky, sustainable aesthetic.
One of the Bar’s prominent features is the interactive ‘Wall of Stories’, highlighting memorabilia, props and interesting anecdotes from travellers and locals – stories that you won’t find in guidebooks.
Design Busride Design Studio Accoustics Munro Acoustics
The bar is a collective museum of the community’s memories
Ayaz Basrai, Co-Founder, Busride Design Studio
At The Storytellers’ Bar, we’ve tried to create a timeless design language, rooted in the heritage architecture of beautiful Pondicherry. We’ve aimed to create a whimsical, fun, yet attitudedriven bar, that tries to break the macho masculine bar stereotypes, and explore a more nuanced, detailed expression, like the surrounding buildings. We see the elements in the bar being classic, robust and soulful.
Kapil Thirwani, Munro Acoustics
The space is long so we have speakers by UK brand, Turbosound, at intervals so that people can hear the music at the same level no matter where they are. We’ve also done the sound system tuning to a studio’s specifications, so that when a band plays the sound engineer doesn’t have to tweak anything on the fly and ruin the experience.