05 MayCyber Hub gets nod to serve liquor again

GURUGRAM: You can once again head back to Cyber Hub for a tipple.

The first drinks were poured in Gurgaon’s most popular hangout on Thursday evening since April 1 when the Supreme Court ban on sale of alcoholnear highways came into effect, its bars springing back to life after a clearance from the excise commissioner’s office in Chandigarh.

“The final nod has been granted to outlets in Cyber Hub, and they are allowed to start serving alcohol post the order,” said HC Dahiya, deputy excise and commissioner, Gurgaon (west), who oversaw the measurement exercise on which hinged the fates of bars as well as pubs and restaurants with liquor licences in Cyber Hub. Of the 36 pubs, bars and restaurants at Cyber Hub, 32 have got permission to serve liquor again. The remaining four haven’t applied for renewal, excise officials said.

There wasn’t an immediate rush as it was a Thursday and the news had yet to reach people but Cyber Hub will gear up for a bumper weekend after a 35-day dry run. Late in the evening, a group of bar and restaurant owners gathered to raise a quiet toast after contentedly watching bartenders go back to their counters.

¬†Ashish Dev Kapur, who runs The Wine Company and was in that gathering, said, “I am super happy for our employees and very happy for a multicultural city like Gurgaon. Today, a lot of people do not know, there are hardly any people. But we will put the word out tomorrow and given that it is Friday, we are expecting a good turnout.” Anil Kumar, an employee of The Beer Cafe, said, “It feels like Diwali to have our livelihood back.”

The way to the green signal was, literally, a circuitous one, achieved by changing the entries and exits of Cyber Hub and tweaking the approach route to increase motorable distance to over a kilometre from NH-8. Motorable distance was the yardstick applied by the excise department in the wake of the Supreme Court order banning sale of alcohol within 500 metres of a state or national highway. “Cyber Hub is India’s largest food and entertainment destination and a prestigious landmark of the city. It is a day of redemption for our customers and employees as we resume operations of our restaurants. We thank all our stakeholders in making this possible,” said Rahul Singh, who heads the Haryana chapter of the National Restaurants Association of India.

¬†Ashwin Chaudhary, who runs Soi 7 and Pier 37, added, “I am glad we are back in business and thankful to the state government for helping us through the process.” Singh said for all 32 outlets taken together, total losses over the past month would be more than Rs 30 crore. Cyber Hub is the last among Gurgaon’s well-known dining and hangout places to get approval to serve liquor.

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