Local Bar Culture of Bangalore

Amidst the soaring skyscrapers, IT hubs and buzzing pubs, there are few hidden places that only a Bengaluru local would know of. These are the local drinking joints of Bengaluru, famously known as Addas.

Local Bar Culture of Bengaluru
(Image courtesy: www.ayushranka.photoshelter.com)

Samson (name changed) a sexagenarian who goes by his single name stands at the corner of one of these drinking joints. The peeling wall paints are hidden by Kannada movie posters and the disheveled atmosphere holds a smoggy affair of smoke and alcohol vapours. Well, Samson, man in the corner leans forward, “Chess has always been a favourite to me, in fact, I’m just back from an intense game”.  Intoxicated scenarios, as such, might amuse any new person in Bengaluru, but for the locals it’s a common thing.

Not just pensioners like Samson, but even young working lads, whose offices are nearby, often drop by at these drinking joints; to discuss business, personal matters or just to get high. The drinks are cheap so are the snacks. Big glasses with fried banana and pickle are the only things which count under “service”. Most often customers bring their own snack, which usually comprises of fried chicken legs from a vendor on the streets.

Local Bar Culture of Bengaluru
(Image courtesy: www.ayushranka.photoshelter.com)

“For the working professionals these is a great place to brain-storm, you meet your colleagues and clients after office hours and discuss important things”, says a 26-year-old techie, who frequents the place with his pals, just because it lies on his way back home. Sometimes, you can even find college students slugging down. Temptations on Church Street and San Rose Bar at MM Road are some of the famous joints, yet there are so many of them, even below flyovers.

These Addas are dark, peppered with empty bottles and passed out drunkards. Even on the pavements outside, measure a kilometre in any direction and you’d stumble upon a boozer. The reason why these places are frequented is because it serves the only motive – a quick drink. And since the owners sell at MRPs, so even if the place is packed, they bundle up the bottles outside where customers can pick their choice and huddle up.

Local Bar Culture of Bangalore
(Image courtesy: www.ayushranka.photoshelter.com)

For the regular ones, tetra pack alcohol shots of 90 and 180ml are available, which is pocket friendly and can be gulped down in one go. This “quick fixes” might have emptied the coffers of few households but the profitability rubbishes human lives aside. As the Garden City is unfolding, brighter avenues of prosperity, small dark patches as such are also blooming. For the people who frequent these addas, it is the way nature balances itself.

A few years back government had imposed ban on the vendors and shops, citing illegal marketing. This had even encouraged the women from the neighbourhood areas to rally out a march and call out for justice. After a game of protests and clamour, the matter went cold and the things went back to normal. Srinivasan, another techie who just entered in his first job and was hanging out with his peers said, “the city is growing and welcoming change, but is sure overlooking few things, who cares, would you like a drink on that behalf”?

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