The Anchor: Rajiv Rao on the 5 Mumbai watering holes he misses most

08 Feb,2012

By Rajiv Rao


For most advertising professionals, office becomes home and the nearby bar is the second home. It’s where we head after a long day for a well deserved drink, be it raising a toast or drowning sorrows.


Here is a list of 5 watering holes that I miss today. They have meant so much to me over different phases of my advertising career. Some have lost their charm and glory and some closed forever. So, there’s little I can do but head for the nearby bar and drink to some good memories.


Tavern (Hotel Fariyas) Colaba

Tavern was one of the most rocking bars in the early 90’s. It was the perfect combination of beer and good old rock music and the best part, a huge screen that would play live shows of the legendary musicians. Queen, Floyd, Stones, Doors, Hendrix, and the likes of Zeppelin were regulars there. Fridays and Saturdays would be insanely loud and packed. After a point everything would be a blur. At least that’s how I remember my Tavern nights.


Cafe Naaz

Though I got to experience very little of this place I still miss it the most. I was introduced to this place very late in life. Naaz was perfectly located, away from the madness of the city and yet you could see the buzzing city from a distance. The queen’s necklace was best seen from Naaz. Warm beer, lousy food, slow service but loads of the charm. Naaz beats any of the high rise bars of today hands down.


Sports Bar (Bowling Co)

The day I joined Ogilvy, I joined Sports bar. Countless lunches, happy hours, lunches that got extended to happy hours and of course after work drinks. Large screens, screaming fans and endless pitchers with Nachos. A lot of male bonding has happened over beers and pool tables in this sporty venue that has given many a “men will be men” moments. I would run into people from work more at the bar, than the office corridors. (And some of these people were people I was running away from)


The Ghetto

Ghetto played real music. The reason it became the preferred hangout for an entire generation of beer, rum and rock lovers. It was where you walk in to a hole through the wall, to a world that unwinds you after work. And yet this is the very place where many ideas were born over many more pitchers. The unusual fluorescent lighting made way for many fun moments. Not to mention, this is the place that introduced writing on walls even before the Facebook epidemic. In fact chances are you will still find your drunken slogans and thoughts scribbled on the walls even today. The Ghetto spells sheer nostalgia for me and many more who welcomed by the tuxedoed doorman ‘Shuklaji’ knowing all the patrons on first name basis


Zenzi (Bandra)

Not too long ago, Zenzi with its open multi-cultural vibe was a mecca for advertising professionals for a short phase. In fact if anyone was to look for a job in the industry, floating a resume at this premise would be a better bet than sending emails to head hunters. It was cool and casual enough that one could walk in with chappals and yet it had a certain attitude that was only for the like minded people from the mad ad world. At any given time, there was so much creative energy, it was like a doctor’s prescription for recharging creative juices.


Rajiv Rao is NCD, Ogilvy &Mather.


Post a Comment 

One response to “The Anchor: Rajiv Rao on the 5 Mumbai watering holes he misses most”

  1. Gouri Dange says:

    ok- no one asked, but i’m telling anyway, mine are Gokul, Kendeel, (Colaba and Fort) one little one that used to be in the armpit of regal theatre (left armpit if you stood facing Regal), Sunraaz (juhu), and Universal (Ballard Estate/Pier). Later, Jefferies on marine drive was ok too, but I went with lousy company, so it doesn’t count. But I liked the preoccupied buzz of conversation of its patrons.

Today's Top Stories