The weekend is almost upon us and finally, NCR residents looking to enjoy a few drinks with friends and family outdoors, can actually say cheers as Gurgaon restros are now serving alcohol. After the guidelines for Unlock 4.0 were announced with no restriction on serving alcohol, restaurants in Gurgaon have now started serving liquor. In August, the Haryana Excise and Taxation Department allowed restaurants and hotels to serve liquor at tables only. The order stated that bars will continue to remain closed. Following up on the order and the Ministry of Home Affairs’ guidelines, some restaurants in Gurgaon have renewed their licences and have already begun serving liquor. More restro-lounges are in the process of licence renewal and are hopeful that they would be able to serve alcohol at their outlets by this weekend.
Gurgaon eateries first in NCR to serve liquor after five months
Ever since restaurants were allowed to reopen in June following strict guidelines, restaurant owners have been urging the authorities to allow them to serve alcohol as liquor sales contribute to major part of their revenue. In the past two months, restaurant bodies like National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and Delhi Restaurant & Club Association (DRCA) have been writing to the authorities to permit sale of liquor at restaurants as that would not just help them in reviving their businesses post lockdown, but would help many other outlets to reopen. While in Delhi, there has been a progress in this regard with Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia recently directing the Excise Department to issue permit to serve liquor in the restaurants and clubs by licences at the table and in the hotel rooms, Gurgaon happens to be the first one to start serving liquor. In Delhi, the Excise Department has said that they need Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s approval. So Delhi restros are now waiting for Lieutenant Governor’s nod.
“This month has started on a very positive note for us and we are hoping that now that the process is clear, many more restaurants will be able to reopen,” says Inderjeet Banga, NRAI Gurgaon chapter head and owner of Pirates of Grill, Gurgaon, that has already started serving alcohol at the tables. Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, which runs Social at Cyber Hub – one of the first restaurants to start serving alcohol in Unlock 4.0 in Gurgaon – says, “This has come as a huge relief to us. We are now hoping that other states will follow suit and allow restaurants to serve liquor. If food and soft drinks can be served at the tables, there is no harm in serving a glass of wine or beer too.”
Packed weekend ahead for Gurgaon restro-lounges
“I am sure everyone from Delhi is planning to drive down to Gurgaon this weekend,” says restaurateur Zorawar Kalra, as he announces that his restaurant Farzi Café at Cyber Hub in Gurgaon will start serving alcohol this weekend. “This is a very big hope for all of us. There are some other states like Punjab that have been serving liquor on tables and have been doing well. We are expecting a very good weekend after ages in terms of business, at least for Gurgaon outlet,” adds Zorawar.
Umang Tewari, owner of Sexy Soda at Golf Course Road in Gurgaon, opened his outlet for dining last week and he says that most queries of reservation would stop at the question, ‘Are you serving alcohol?’ “Now we can finally say yes and take advance bookings as well. Since we are still running at 50% occupancy (to maintain social distancing norms), we have to reserve in advance. We are hoping that this weekend our business will be up by 40-50%, which means a lot in the post-pandemic phase,” says Tewari.