Everyone knows Nagpur likes to party like crazy on weekends – Saturdays are always ‘Houseful’ in any top restaurant like Tuli, Centre point, Ashoka, Radisson Blu, Le Meridian or clubs like Maharaj Bag Club or MIA club in MIDC, Hingna.
But today all these establishments wore a sad look with their busy bars ‘locked up’ and sealed from yesterday afternoon only.
Starred hotels who have Mini Bars in rooms have also had to seal those and remove alcohol bottles from the Frigidaires.
Many wine shops along the Wardha road, Amraoti road, Katol road are also closed.
The few that were open within the city had huge milling crowds like there was no tomorrow left for drinking. These were the Wine shops in Dharampeth, Jaripatka etc. which one hears are open today till late to supply to all the ‘desperate demand’.
Only two prominent clubs of the city have been ‘saved’ from this SC order since they are away from the main roads and tucked in their niche areas – these are CP Club and Gondwana club, which saw huge rush tonight.
When NT spoke to a Restaurant Manager of Raddison Blu it was learnt that the top management is very worried since they do better business through Food and Beverages than Room Occupancy. Hotels like Le Meridian and Raddison, also Centre Point have been offering special ‘package deals’ for Sundays which included brunch and unlimited drinks. All these offers will stop now!
As the executive in one of the hotels said, ” we also fear that our regular customers will stop staying with us and try to look for hotels tucked inside the city where ‘Bars’ will remain open.”
“There are only two 5 star hotels in the city and both have been hit – and will be hit badly in days to come” said another.
Wine and Hospitality industry people exploring all means to bypass this ruling
Nagpur being peculiarly situated in the heart of India, with the zero milestone within the city, many North-South and East – West national highways ply through the city. Most Nagpur hotels and wine shops are situated by such roads since almost every road is either a state or a national highway!
These roads, which see a lot of traffic of trucks and large vehicles also are still maintained by the state government’s PWD department and not the NMC.
If they had been built and managed by the city corporation local bodies hoteliers and shop owners could have taken the plea that they are within city limits and not on highways.
NT has learnt that meetings are on between Ministers and Hospitality and Alcohol industry people about how the save the huge loss of revenue that the state is going to suffer from. One estimate puts the loss at Rs. 7000 crores.
One way out could be that new notifications could be brought about taking away the roads within the city from the purview of PWD and handing them over to NMC.
Even Restaurant managers of the big starred hotels are hoping that they will get some relief and alcohol stocks that stand to be ceased by Excise Department will be returned to them.
They can get back to business as usual.
Many garden restaurants along the highways have like Highway Glory, Dwaraka etc. that had permits to sell liquor have been affected too.
If the scenario of today continues, it will not be a very Sunny Sunday tomorrow either!!