Just like the rest of the food industry, the bar scenario in India is slowly getting up to speed with the global bar scene. With its own concept- driven bars and a clear focus on cocktails, service and drinks programmes, bars have grown in India in all these year.
With bar owners coming into their own, the next decade will see a lot of exciting action and any bar striving to make a mark will be right in the thick of things! It has taken the industry awhile, but few bars did, take the bold first step to venture out from their comfort zones into hitherto unknown territory.
If the extension in wining and dining deadlines is changing the way people party all over India, a variety of factors, changing social mores, newer F&B formats, and the economics of it all- are leading to a much deeper and pervasive change: the bar culture in youngistaan is on upswing- despite the taboos and moral policing.
How Thursday has become the new Saturday : One big change to have come about in this lifestyle, in the past two years or so, is the concept of ‘party all nights’. A bustling bar culture is the hallmark of any sophisticated city. In Delhi, for instance, the parking is full on Thursday night and cars move bumper to bumper. It is ‘ladies night’ at many places in the city, popular not just with the ladies out to get their free sickly sweet cocktails but also the gents, for whom neither the entry nor the drinks are free.
Bartenders are the New celebrities : Bar Chef’s, mixologists, bartenders and bar-keepers are the many names of the same professional, who can make or break your evening at the bar. Bartenders are now the most sought- after talent in the bar industry and are absolutely the key to a good bar. Everything across the globe has to be about going local. While being sustainable is key. It is also important to be a conscious of the environment, as more and more restaurants are harvesting local or regional cuisines, using indigenous ingredients- and bars are following suit.
On the future of bars and the cocktails culture in India will be more exciting by the next decade, with the great bars and bartenders coming out of the country.
While we all agree that the consumer now is very well ‘consumed’ given the globe- trotting jobs and well- travelled holiday makers, we still only have had a drop in the ocean in terms of bars and cocktails.
Looking at the amazing offerings, very diverse culture and seasonality in India, we will be hoping to see a lot more watering holes and cocktail bars opening in non-metro cities.