Are you game?
Rahul Sachitanand, Ritwik Mukherjee, Deepti Khanna Bose and Anumeha Chaturvedi May 12, 2008Starstruck Retro Lounge
Where: Forum Mall, 5th Floor, 10/3 Elgin Road, Kolkata
The price: Rs 1,200 plus taxes (for two)
Open from: 12 noon to 12:30 a.m.
Must try: Tandoori Peshawari Murg, Starstruck Club Sandwich, and, of course, the pool games
The Chill Factor: This 1,000-sq. ft lounge tucked between two fine-dining restaurants on the 5th floor of Forum Mall will certainly give you a different feel—a miniature Oscar statuette, Hollywood memorabilia and framed write-ups about yesteryear superstars like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are designed for maximum effect.
Starstruck Retro Lounge, one of the most happening sports bars in Kolkata, actually offers you much more than just a classy ambience: pool, table hockey and foosball, a giant screen television screening racing, wrestling, soccer and cricket matches, exotic food, cocktails and mocktails, they’re all here. Says Richard Wu, Manager, Starstruck: “There is so much activity around that you never get bored while waiting. You either participate in or enjoy these activities sitting on specially designed couches that look like footballs.” Once you land here, try the veg or non-veg kebab platter and cocktails like Caipioroska, Frozen Lemon Margarita or mocktails like Cracker and Apple Breeze.
Sports Bar Express
Where: Cosmos Mall, 4th floor, Brookefield, Bangalore
The price: Rs 1,500 for two
Open from: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Must try: Beer and biryani on weekends; indoor cricket and basketball
The Chill Factor: Located right next to Whitefield, Bangalore’s technology nerve centre, Sports Bar Express is a hit with both techies looking to unwind and residents from nearby boroughs looking to cut loose on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sports Bar Express is located on the top floor of the upmarket Cosmos Mall and visitors usually combine an afternoon or evening of shopping (and even a movie) with a relaxed cocktail, a couple of games and, possibly, dinner.
With the high-voltage IPL in full flow, the large screens are a hit, especially on weekends, as cricket enthusiasts crowd the bar and cheer their favourite teams. Besides cricket on the TV, wannabe cricketers can try their hand at an indoor “net”—a bowling machine delivers a wide variety of pace and spin at “batsmen”.
Then, there are also pool tables and indoor basketball to keep you entertained all evening. Along the way, you could get a bite from the attached multi-cuisine restaurant (biryani-and-beer is a favourite) as you watch your favourite cricketers do their stuff. Sports Bar Express has another outlet on Mysore Road, and yet another is scheduled to open in three months on Church Street.
Where: B 22, Leela Galleria, Hotel Leela Palace, Bangalore
The price: Rs 2,000 for two
Open from: 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Must try: Club sandwiches and burgers; foosball, pool and bowling
The Chill Factor: What started as a kid’s amusement centre on Church Street has morphed into a second, more mature facility at the swish Leela Galleria on Bangalore’s Airport Road. Graduating from a hangout for pre-teens, Amoeba has now grown up to offer more grown-up games like foosball and darts, as people look for more places to hang out beyond shooting the breeze in a mall or catching (an increasingly expensive) movie at a multiplex.
Amoeba gets an interesting mix of well-heeled expats, relaxing after a hard day’s work in India’s IT capital, and yuppie techies from the neighbourhood as its clientele. Saturday evenings can be rather crowded (as at many other nightspots in Bangalore), but on the other six days of the week you should be able to spend a relaxed couple of hours playing pool, hitting the bowling alley and swigging some cold beer on a sweltering summer afternoon.
The Club Lounge
Where: The JW Marriott, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu Beach, Mumbai
The price: Rs 2,000 approx for two
Open from: 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m
Must try: Deathly Dry Martini while watching F1 on the big screen
The Chill Factor: The JW Marriott in Mumbai’s Juhu suburb has what is arguably the most sophisticated sports bar that the city has to offer. The Club Lounge is different from any other sports bar, in that it gives you the feeling of sitting in your very own (admittedly luxurious) living room. There are several private spaces—arm chairs, coffee tables, etc.—so that groups of people have their privacy. The Club Lounge screens rugby games, cricket (EPL to IPL), and F1, among others, on four large screens, during big events and races. Apart from a fine fare of sports on offer, it boasts an extensive menu of cocktails. Try its martinis, from the Deathly Dry Martini to the Down & Dirty Martini as well as two different kinds of absinthes.
Where: 31, Basant Lok Community Centre, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi
The price: Rs 500-700 for two
Open from: 12 noon to 1 a.m.
Must try: Order the Punjab Kings Cocktail and have a go at the dart board
The Chill Factor: Called the “new rules lounge bar”, Barcode is just the place to meet friends over drinks, while indulging in a game of pool or billiards. Spread across five floors, it’s a concept that mixes interactive games with a dance floor, special effects lighting, LCD screens and, of course, a great bar. The bar has a plethora of activities to keep you entertained and the design and décor vary on every floor. There are four pool tables and one billiards table, and a dart board at level four, to keep you on your toes. But if you’re in the mood to just sit back and relax, then soak in the IPL mania on the giant screens with cocktails like Punjab Kings and Kolkata Night Riders that promise to help you cheer your team better.