Bandra lounge gutted by fire, no casualties reported

Oct 12, 2014, 08:44 IST | Pooja Kalwar

The fire broke out on Saturday morning, the cause of which is not known. Locals, however, heave a sigh of relief as patrons created a ruckus despite repeated complaints

On Saturday morning, a major fire broke out at Escobar, a popular lounge bar in Bandra. While the cause of the fire is unknown, it has gutted the entire eatery, situated on the terrace of VN Sphere Mall. The fire brought down the temporary shaft that was put up by the management of Escobar during monsoon. Only burned bamboos, iron sheets and furniture were left.

The gathering at Carter Road

Though this has proved to be a major setback for the eatery, local residents have heaved a sigh of relief. Over the last couple of months, they had complained to the restaurant’s owners and the local police as patrons who visited the place allegedly urinated outside homes and created commotions in drunken stupor.

The incident
The fire broke out at 7.20 am on Saturday, following which the restaurant’s personnel contacted the control room. Fire brigade officials rushed to the spot immediately. By the time five fire engines reached the spot, flames had completely engulfed the pub, damaging the electric wires and installations inside. The firemen were able to douse the flames by 10.45 am. The police was alerted and the area sealed. The employees of the mall poured water from the terrace on the building till 2.30 pm.

Residents speak
Lalita Deonalli, a resident who stays in a building opposite Escobar, told sunday mid-day, “I heard sounds that seemed as if someone was bursting fire crackers. When I peeped from my balcony, I saw that Escobar was engulfed in flames and shards of glass from the windows fell on the ground for nearly two hours.”

Manuela Saldanha, another resident, alleged that patrons of both Escobar and Royalty, another pub located nearby, created trouble for locals. She alleged, “They misbehave and throw bottles filled with urine in our compound. We have complained several times to the police. The problems are solved on a temporary basis but there is never any permanent solution. We want to save our residential areas and don’t want them to be commercial. After all, senior citizens reside in this area.”

Sister Rita, who is a nun of Daughters of St Paul and stays in front of Royalty pub, said, “Young nuns stay here. People who come to these pubs make noise in a drunken state till 3 am, making it difficult for us to sleep. They park their vehicles in the no-parking area. Their drivers sit outside the cars and create a ruckus. Few months ago, a driver harrassed a young nun. They even urinate outside our houses.”

However, Vidisha Noronha, spokesperson of Escobar, denied to comment on these allegations and just said, “We are waiting for fire officials to complete their investigation after which we can comment about the incident.”

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