Where's the party tonight?
At Lower Parel, Impresario's gets its own new standalone performance space. With fun drinks and no-nonsense food, this is a grand comeback
In a country like India, where there isn't too much public space, restaurants have the responsibility of filling in as a cultural hub," Riyaaz Amlani shares. The thumping bass wafting out of the newly opened and India's first standalone antiSOCIAL — a nightlife establishment that so far had existed as an extension to Amlani's bar-chain, Social — has filled the air inside Todi Mills.
This is almost symbolic — like the music, the space itself is going to fill a glaring void left behind by the shuttering of the nightclub's earlier outpost in Khar, which used to be a suburban hub for indie gigs. Mayank Bhat, business head of the company, echoes this when he says that the team took three months to just come to terms with the abrupt shuttering. Since then, many F&B joints have opened their space up to music performances, but it all felt a little shoe-horned. You can't ask a five-piece band to play a live show if you don't have the right set-up, acoustics, and equipment.
"The antiSOCIAL we had at Khar didn't have its own identity. It was more like a shell with great sound and good lighting. But in two years, it became like this cultural hotspot where we bred a lot of sub-cultures. When it shut, it left a huge void in the scene. It was time to dedicate an entire space (especially in a city like Mumbai) to performances," Bhat explains. To that end, this space (which has come to replace the erstwhile Todi Mill Social) is perfect, and even more so, with its new layout that has done away with the larger section of the mezzanine floor, retaining only one half for private dining.
Mayank Bhat, Riyaaz Amlani and Vivek Dudani, the men behind the venue
Set-up inside what used to be a mill, with grungy interiors, a huge stage — that can even hold a piano — a sprawling floor, a fantastic PA (public address system; the sound design has been helmed by Munro Sounds and they have sourced India's first and one of the best, Adamson PA, for this space), it is safe to call this Mumbai's first genuine performance space for the indie circuit after the now shut Blue Frog. The food and drinks, which Amlani calls "incidental" in the case of this establishment, is just that, but playful.
The menu has a mix of easy-to-eat bar bites, like the addictive seafood tacos called crabs and crusts (Rs 250) and zany drinks like Slybounce (Rs 575), a deceptively heady and light mix of vodka, cold brew, and popcorn syrup.
Crabs and crusts
For its first night, there was a mix of DJs on the roster (like DJ Moses, Roycin D'Souza and Potter b2b Sansibar). They busted out the right tunes, making it almost impossible not to dance. We were pleasantly surprised to see Social's culinary head, Gresham Fernandes, behind the console in the later part of the night.
Slybounce. Pics/Ashish Raje
Who knew? A song you can't sing inside the brand new antiSOCIAL, though, is U2's popular hit, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Because we have.
AT antiSOCIAL, Todi Mills, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel.
TIME 11.30 am to 1.15 am
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