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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Dancing in the dark

The city that never sleeps. With Calcutta waking up to the fact that the party people prefer baire to ghare after dark, Himika Chaudhuri zips through the Top Ten happening night haunts in town. If you happen to be a frequent visitor, browse through this to know your pet pad better. And if there's someplace you haven't been yet, take your pick and get a move on, tonight.

Destination: Tantra

Drive to: The Park, Park Street

Rocking from: December 24, 1999

Leg space: 8,000 sq ft (approx)

Footfall high: 1,000-1,200 (revolving crowd on a weekend night)

Average billing: Rs 450

Top tunes: Primarily a mix of House and Hip-Hop, with some remixes thrown in. There is a conscious effort now to move away from Hindi music. Trance is played when the floor thins out.

Sip & bite: The favourite cocktail here is Flaming Lambogini. On the munch menu, Grilled Bekti and Charred Grilled Prawns move well.

Strength: 'Our USP is the large number of live shows that we offer to the city. Now we are planning to pep up our cocktail menu' ' manager Vivek Avari.

Loyalspeak: 'I've practically grown up partying in Bodhi Bar, the meeting point for all our friends on Saturday nights' ' Abhishek Jhunjhunwala.

Destination: Someplace Else

Drive to: The Park, Park Street

Rocking from: 1994

Leg space: 2,000 sq ft

Footfall high: 300

Average billing: Rs 300

Top Tunes: All the jazz, blues and rock live bands have their loyalists, but Nondon Bagchi's Hip Pocket is just something else.

Sip & bite: Mojito is the hot drink at this cool place while Crispy Fried Prawns are the fave munch.

Strength: 'This is the Mecca of live western music' ' Arup Nag, manager.

Loyalspeak: 'The familiar faces, the friendly pats and the boys behind the counter and, of course, the music. This place is magic' ' Naveen Pai.

Destination: Shisha

Drive to: 22, Camac Street

Rocking from: 2002

Leg space: 1,000 sq feet

Footfall high: 300'350

Average billing: Rs 300

Top tunes: A mix of Hip-Hop and House.

Sip & bite: Lebanese snacks and kebabs.

Strength: 'The USP obviously is that of being the first hookah and lounge bar of the city' ' Sovon Mukherjee, manager.

Loyalspeak: 'I like chilling out at Shisha because of the crowd. I like the interiors as well' ' Davina Gorsia.

Destination: Dublin

Drive to: ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton and Towers, EM Bypass

Rocking from: 2003

Leg space: 3,500 sq ft

Footfall high: 700

Average billing: Rs 500

Sip & bite: Tequila shots top. Vegetable Spring Roll and Chicken Tikka Salad for the grub club.

Top Tunes: Retro, Hindi remixes

Strength: 'The combination of ambience and music draws the crowd. We also give each guest personal attention' ' Nitin Behl, manager.

Loyalspeak: 'I like the place for its lounge effect, retro music and ambience' ' Samrat Roychowdhury.

Destination: Cloud 9

Drive to: The Astor, Theatre Road

Rocking from: March 2003

Leg space: 1,900 sq feet

Footfall high: 300-350

Average billing: Rs 400-Rs 450

Top tunes: Hindi music is a strict no-no, while retro and Hip-Hop rule

Sip & bite: Cloud 9 is the cocktail of choice, Summer Coolers the mocktail. The kebab platters come out tops.

Strength: 'Being a restobar, it's the whole package of food, music and ambience' ' Riaz Nizamuddin, manager.

Loyalspeak:'The ambience, soft music and great food take me there' ' Rupinder Singh.

Destination: Big Ben

Drive to: The Kenilworth, Little Russell Street

Rocking from: November 1999

Leg space: 3,000 sq ft

Footfall high: 350-400

Average billing: Rs 400

Sip & bite: A flaming cocktail called 4th of July is the hot favourite. Kebabs in the non-veg platter and Cornflake-coated Fried Babycorn among the vegetarian choices top.

Top Tunes: Remix, Hip-Hop and pop.

Strength: 'Quality of service and spacious interiors make it a popular family haunt' ' Subir Das, manager.

Loyalspeak: 'What I like are the kind of people in terms of age and profile and the air of exclusivity' ' Rahul Saraf.

Destination: Winning Streak

Drive to: The HHI, AJC Bose Road

Rocking from: 1994-2001 Anticlock; Winning Streak since then.

Leg space: 2,000 sq ft

Footfall high: 200

Average billing: Rs 350

Top tunes: Retro and Hip-Hop rule.

Sip & bite: Fusion and Chinese platters for food, B52 as cocktail.

Strength: 'I think our USP has been crowd control which ensures that regulars get to party with known faces' ' Bunty Sethi, nightclub operator

Loyalspeak: 'I go there for the crowd and to play pool' Manish Sharma.

Destination: Incognito

Drive to: Taj Bengal, Alipore

Rocking from: 1994

Leg space: 4,000 sq ft

Footfall high: 300-400

Average billing: Rs 400

Top Tunes: Rock, trance, Indi-pop

Sip & bite: Long Island iced tea

Strength: 'The security and brand name makes sure only select people get entry' ' Modhurima Sinha, spokesperson.

Loyalspeak: 'I am a weekend party person so Incognito suits me fine. I love the crowd and you don't have people standing on your toes' ' Swati Rana.

Destination: Fusion

Drive to: The Golden Park

Rocking from: 2004

Leg space: 9,000 sq ft

Footfall high: 200-300

Average billing: Rs 300

Top tunes: The music is kept soft till 10.30 pm after which a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop and remixes rock.

Sip & bite: Food is a big draw, with Prawn in Hunan Sauce, Shredded Chicken and Vegetable Rainbow recommended by the chef. Martinis are swiftest off the bar top.

Strength: 'The whole package of food and entertainment under one roof makes it a family place' ' Ramnik Sabharwal, manager.

Loyalspeak: 'The wholesome package is attractive and the crowd has improved' ' Jinesh Agarwal.

Destination: Prince of Cal

Drive to: 20G Park Street

Rocking from: Nov 11, 2004

Leg space: 2,500 sq ft

Footfall high: 200

Average billing: Rs 450

Top tunes: Completely retro.

Sip & bite: Veg and non-veg combo platter, Pan-fried Bekti and Graded Mushroom. Malt whisky for the dry-throated.

Strength: 'Our strength lies in our variety in food and beverages' ' Kanishka Mazumder, manager.

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