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Post-blast, pubs in Bengaluru’s CBD keep fingers crossed over 31st night parties

The manager of a pub in Bengaluru’s Central Business District (CBD) looked up towards the skies and said “I am hoping for the best”, when asked what he expected on December 31st when there were few people at his pub on Tuesday.

That’s been more or less the view of managers of pubs in the CBD in the city of the impact of the bomb blast that happened on the Church Street in the CBD on Sunday last.

The blast, on Sunday night, had caused the death of a 32-year-old woman, Bhavani Devi, from Chennai who was on a visit to Bengaluru and had gone out for dinner with her relatives.

While the police have thrown a security blanked over the city, many a customer is yet to gather enough confidence to visit their favourite watering holes in the CBD area. “I am yet to finalise my plans for the new year’s eve. I am still looking around,” said a customer to Business Standard, refusing to be identified. He had come to the pub to check if it was fully booked for New Year’s eve.

The blast has found resonance in the cash registers in many of the pubs in the CBD area. The Alibi Pub, a couple of hundred metres from the spot where the blast took place on Church Street, did not have a single customer when this correspondent visited the place to know what the pub’s plans were for the New Year’s eve. “It will be a dry day. Our menu will remain the same. How can we have any celebrations after an incident like that,” said Krishna, the manager of Alibi Pub on Church Street. “It would be better to stay closed that day,” he added.

Krishna had planned to buy cutlery and crockery, and the necessary raw materials. But, the plans for the investment is now in cold storage. The pub sees business of Rs 60,000-80,000 per day on weekdays and about Rs 1.5 lakh on weekends. Now his hopes for Rs 2 lakh of business on New Year’s eve lie shattered.

The manager of The Biere Club which has a microbrewery, on Vittal Mallya Road, in the CBD is hoping that people will turn up. “It’s been only two days since the blast took place. So, as of now it’s very difficult to guess what will happen,” said Jagat Jivan Mohapatra, manager at The Biere Club. The club had seen about 350 people last year on the New Year’s eve. As of 30th evening, it had booked tables for 150 people.

For the pub, Social, on Church Street, it was too early for them to make a call on what would happen. But at least on Tuesday noon there seemed to be a fairly good turnout given the time of the day. “They are the regular crowd,” said a member of the staff from the pub.

A pub on M G Road, called ‘Drinks’, plans to stay shut on New Year’s eve. “All those traffic restrictions in the area does not make it worthwhile to keep it open,” said Bheem of Drinks.

As of now the pubs in the CBD area of city are praying for the best.

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