Mumbai: BMC looking to close Bar Bank restaurant's 'account' for no licence

Nov 06, 2018, 15:00 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Issues notice to new Juhu eatery to cease operations for not having the required licences; restaurant owner says there's no irregularity and all permissions are in place

Mumbai: BMC looking to close Bar Bank restaurant's 'account' for no licence
Bar Bank on Juhu-Tara Road has food trucks (below) on its premises. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

A new restaurant that's opened in Juhu has already been served a notice by the local ward office. It says the eatery, Bar Bank, doesn't have the authorised licence to operate and, hence, should down shutters immediately, as it's causing nuisance to the public.

Restaurant owner, however, has said all the required licences have been secured, and there is no irregularity. At Bar Bank, alcohol can be purchased at a chosen rate and in multiple quantities by opening an account on its app, so one could call it a bank-based bar. Ten food trucks, mini vans and rickshaws form a part of the restaurant.

Just last year, a food truck plaza in Bandra was shut down over alleged lack of permissions from the local authority.

Bar Bank on Juhu-Tara Road has food trucks (right) on its premises. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Cracking down
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC's) notice states that if Bar Bank doesn't comply immediately, the civic body will seize all materials and articles deemed dangerous to citizens.

It adds that the eatery can take the seized articles back within a month after paying a price that will be fixed by the health officer of K-west ward. Civic officials said if there is any illegal construction, it will have to be demolished.

Ganesh  Kusumulu, an activist, said, "I have been complaining about the issue for a very long time, but the BMC kept turning a blind eye to it. When the construction started, I'd brought up the issue; a stop-work notice was issued but no further action was taken. At last, things are progressing..." Assistant Municipal Commissioner of K-west ward Prashant Gaikwad said, "We have issued a notice under section 394 of the MMC Act. If the place hasn't been vacated in seven days, we will start prosecution, and another seven days after that, we will carry out seizures.

If live cooking is happening on food trucks, no permission has been issued for it, as we do not have the concept of food trucks here, and if the structure of the food truck is permanent, then, too, it is illegal as no permission was taken from us for the construction."

The other side
Bar Bank owner Mihir Desai said, "There is nothing illegal going on here. A response will be given to BMC's notice with all the information and copies of the licences. When earlier we had received a stop-work notice, we had replied and the issue had been resolved then."

When asked about cooking on food trucks not permitted in the city, Desai added, "We are not doing any live cooking on the food trucks; just heating the food and serving it to patrons. All cooking is done in the kitchen on the premises, for which we have a licence. The food trucks are for the ambience."

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