After remaining shut for almost six months due to Covid-19 pandemic, bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs in Karnataka on Tuesday again opened their doors for the public.
India Today had reported how the Karnataka excise department had given the go-ahead to the pubs; bars and clubs to reopen under ‘Unlock 4.0’ guidelines. It had also given permission for all the establishments to serve liquor.
On Monday, the excise commissioner issued an order duly allowing liquor consumption and instructing these businesses to follow the central government guidelines. The density of customers in restaurants has been limited to 50 per cent. With this decision, the state government is hoping to improve its revenue position to some extent.
India Today visited a few F&B restaurants in the city. Chef Vikas Seth from Sanchez located in UB City tells us that this decision by the government was bound to happen and it is a very good move. He added that people have been missing their beverages. The restaurant has taken care to follow all the SOPs put in place by the state government.
The restaurant has contactless menu where one has to scan a code and the menu pops up on their mobile. A customer can also make payments online without the need for any sort of contact whatsoever.
But with liquor being allowed, chef Vikas believes footfalls will definitely increase. “Last two months, people have been coming out but were missing their beverages. So now with that being allowed, it is going to be a win-win situation and with things settling down, people will feel more secure,” he said.
Similarly, one of India’s leading chef Abhijit Saha, who is the owner of Fava in UB City, told India Today TV that this is a step in the right direction by the state government. “If you can eat together, you can also drink together. But we must remember as citizens and restaurateurs, safety comes first. Now even though the government has allowed us to serve liquor, we should not allow over-crowding and enjoy F&B with responsibility,” he said.
But not all restaurants are geared up to serve their patrons since the SOPs are very stringent in nature. According to a source, Sherlock’s Pubs are looking at opening next Thursday as they need to sanitise the pubs after being locked for many months now. Further, many of their employees are returning to the city by train and that might take some time.
Tourist hotels holding beer licences, and bars in airports, have also been given permission to open.
Holders of licences CL 4 (clubs), CL 6A (star hotels), CL 7 (hotel and boarding house), CL 7A (tourist hotel), CL 7B (tourist hotels with beer licence), CL 9 (bar and restaurant), CL 17 (duty free shops at airport), CL 18 (bars in international airports), wine tavern, bottled beer pub and micro-breweries, have been permitted to stay open.