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City raises toast to resurgent Team India, bars make a killing

Liquor sales surge by 90 per cent in last four days after the five-match ODI series kicked off; business boost to pubs and bars that have been going through a dull phase following the ban on live music and live bands

With a resurgent Team India thrashing England in back-to-back matches, the mood in the grim-looking bars following a ban on 'western' music and live bands, seems to have lit up.


Bars and pubs are once again swarming with patrons and business
has been brisk after the lull created by the ban on live music bands
and dancing in watering holes


Patrons are thronging pubs in numbers to raise toasts to pre-Diwali firecrackers from Dhoni and gang and become privy to the 'revenge' of the men in blue against their English nemesis.

Liquor sales boost
In a matter of one week, the alcohol trade in the city has seen a dramatic boost. Bars in the heart of the city have sold 90 per cent more alcohol in just four days.

According to industry experts, a leading pub does business of around Rs 6 lakh in a week, but after Team India returned to its winning streak, the sales have seen a 90 per cent surge.

Alcohol trade analysts claim that for the first time since India's World Cup victory, sales of alcoholic beverages have seen an unexpected boom, drawing in Rs 20 lakh profit for the industry in the last four days.

"This is something that the industry did not anticipate because post the World Cup, the industry expected a lull as there was too much cricket on the calendar. However, the IPL meant big business for the industry.
 
India's defeat at the hands of a confident England team demotivated a lot of cricket fans.

This revenge series is bringing in a lot of moolah for the alcohol industry as now people are happily clinking their glasses and guzzling beer to celebrate the moment," said Jagdeep Sethi, an industry expert.

Bars, pubs rejoice
The cricketing season has come as a much needed break for bar and pubs owners, who had been losing business due to ban on live music, live bands and also the ban on dancing at pubs.

"We lost out on 85 per cent of our revenue due to these bans imposed on us by the city police. Now, it is time to make money and the Indian team seems to be doing the trick for us.

Usually, either a really jubilant celebratory mood - like the cricket World Cup victory, or a sad phase draws in a lot of customers.
 
This time the brilliant and consistent performance of the team has given us profits of over Rs 3 lakh in just four days," said a bar owner from MG Road.

Moreover, sports bars are also making the most of the opportunity. "On the day of the matches, we see an amazing clientele and our alcohol sales shoot up by over 20 per cent.

We were under the impression that people are going to be tired of cricket, but the amazing response to the ongoing ODI series has led us to play the game on the big screen, as many IT employees come in on the days of the match," said Mukunda Kumar, Restaurant Manager, Sports Bar.

Like-minded crowd
What seems to be pushing many people to the bars and pubs is the likeminded minded crowd.

"You don't have to know the people who are screaming and jumping in joy at every six that is hit, or cursing the England bowlers every time they take a wicket.

It is all a part of the game. Beer and cricket are probably the best cocktail of the season that takes you to cricket nirvana," said Sahil Chaudhary, a cricket enthusiast.

Musicians in the city are also enjoying this much-needed break from the unresolved drama over the ban on live 'western' music.

"It seems cricket and alcohol have united the two warring parties in the city. Burying the hatchet, literally, the cops also join us and cheer for the men in blue," said K J Rajiv, a musician.

For now the alcohol industry is making the most of India's performance against England, hoping that the hosts' winning streak continues and they rout the British in the five-match ODI.

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