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Hardrock Café, DLF Place Mall, Saket

M 110, 1st Floor, DLF Place Mall, Saket, New Delhi

Ph: 011 47158888

Timing: 12 Noon to 12:30 AM

Map: Click Here

Move over Food Bazaar, take a seat, PVR, there’s a new anchor tenant in town and they’re the mega bars, the TGIF’s and Hard Rock Cafes. They’re soon going to be the new reasons why people are flocking to the malls, especially in the case of TGIF @ DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj, which replaces their flagship outlet in Basant Lok.

Anyway this is about the just opened, mint new, Hard Rock Cafe, which has opened up in Saket’s DLF Place (next to DT Cinemas on the first level). HRC, New Delhi joins its brethren across the country – Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad airport etc.

If you’ve been to one HRC then I don’t really need to describe the place. As an insider told me, HRC is all about the 5 M’s : Menu, Music, Memorabilia, Merchandise and Monument!. Short of ego they’re not. It’s large, with a seating for 187 + 13 (at the bar), a separate smoking zone, a one step up stage, for the live acts (coming soon), a long bar down the side (and one more service bar coming up).

I was there with Paritosh, marketing head for a alcoholic beverage company, and we were there to get a feel for the new kid in town. Paritosh, a regular @ the Bangalore’s HRC, felt the Delhi outlets’ success was a “no-brainer”. What’s not to like? This is pretty much Americana at its finest (pre GM, the great depression, et al). We lined up at the bar, and flicked through the menu. I ordered a Pomegranate Martini and Paritosh, a Gold Margarita (the gold because it uses Sauza Gold Tequila, as opposed to the regular Blanco).

Sitting at the bar, going through the menu and checking out the bottles on the back bar, gives you a pretty fair idea that this is a bar where consumer choice is limited. What’s good for HRC is good for the consumer. Want a pint of Guinness? Sorry. Want something else apart from the selection of Sula’s wines on offer? Sorry. For mega bars like HRC and TGIF, it’s all about the tie-up. Those tens of lakhs of rupees plowed in by the large beverage companies to ensure that their brands are primarily, if not solely, sold there. I appreciate the business need, but as a consumer, it leaves me cold. HRC may be good for that now and then experience with friends, checking out the live music, but if I’m at a bar for something more than that, the classic feel of a bar & a wide range of beverages to experiment with, then I’ll probably head elsewhere.

The drinks came. Paritosh loved his Margarita, my Martini was ok, a little too sweet, I felt due to too much pomegranate syrup. A classic bar would use the real thing, freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.

We wandered through the merchandise shop. Nice stuff, but for the rich. When I hit the jackpot, I’ll probably come back and pick up their Hurricane glasses. Until then,Tulleeho!

Authors Note: This review was carried out in 2009.

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