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New Restaurants

Liven up the weekend at these new restobars in and around Park Street

Kolkata’s party alley just got cooler with a host of new eateries offering coffee, cocktails, curated menus and more

Urvashi Bhattacharya | Published 31.07.23, 05:46 PM
L-R:  Jazz-bar feels and craft cocktails at Little Bit Sober, Spicy wings at Plan B, and new sips at Drunken Teddy are some of new things to look forward to

L-R: Jazz-bar feels and craft cocktails at Little Bit Sober, Spicy wings at Plan B, and new sips at Drunken Teddy are some of new things to look forward to

Kolkata is always up for a good time! If it involves great food and jazzy drinks, chances are Kolkatan will be happy to explore that option. A few new restaurants, pubs and lounges have made an appearance in the city in and around the happening-as-always Park Street area.

My Kolkata picked five places you should try out and it features a gamut of choices, from coffee and cocktails to live music, and international street food. Read on to know more…

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AMPM

Coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night — AMPM Calcutta, which opened in May, lives up to its name. A one-stop for your coffee and cocktail fixes, the cafe-cum-restobar is located in the Park Center building on Park Street. The sprawling 6,200sq-ft space has a main seating area with warm and vintage aesthetic wood-and-cane furniture and dark and neutral tones, while The Gully is securely placed behind the bar for an intimate sitting experience. The smoking room can almost pass for a third section with ample room and seating.

AMPM serves a range of creations made with organic single-origin coffee from northeast India. “We invite people to celebrate over a cup of our single-origin, nano-lot coffee from the northeast, as invigorating daylight floods our magnificently designed space,” said Grace Muivah, founder of Ngarum coffee and brand lead, Bright Hospitality.

The lit-up space transitions from cafe to pub with ease, becoming a space with “live music, tapas and spirited cocktails well into the electrifying moonlit hours,” she added. Their signature cocktail menu borrows from the overall old-world charm, using local and seasonal flavours and adding a simple modern twist to classics. Their cocktails also feature some great coffee concoctions. Watch out for The Park Street Negroni, which is a highlight on their menu and is made with Ngarum coffee, while the AMPM Old Fashioned has a dash of nolen gur.

Where: 5th Floor, Park Center building, 24, Park Street

Open: Wed, Thurs and Sun, noon-midnight; Fri-Sat, noon-2am

Pocket pinch: Rs 2,000-plus for two, with alcohol

Little Bit Sober

Did someone say cocktails? Little Bit Sober did! The cocktail bar beside Chowringhee Banquets covers 1,800sq ft and is dedicated to mixologists serving up their concoctions. The mood, lighting and accents of red in the decor give it a jazz bar feel, with the long blue bar being the eye-catcher. If you’re looking for a lounge experience to savour your drinks and chit chat without loud music blaring in your ear, then Little Bit Sober is for you.

What’s special about the cocktail bar? Some of their signature drinks definitely stand out. They serve some unique cocktails that incorporate flavours you wouldn’t normally think of mixing. Like Kasundi Tomato, Coffee Nolen gur, Ghee Old Fashioned and more. Apart from interesting alcoholic concoctions, they also have crafted their own sodas, which you can pair with any alcoholic beverage of choice, or enjoy as is. The bar also comes with a huge attached balcony for smoke breaks.

“In Kolkata, the nightlife is primarily nightclubs, dance and music. We wanted to create a humble cosy bar where you can have a conversation. While there is a DJ or live music and it’s at a conversation level. Even the cocktail culture in Calcutta is just not there yet. We never really had a boutique cocktail space where you enjoy a drink. A cocktail has to be savoured, so it can't really be enjoyed in a loud space,” said Rituparna Banerjee, who created the F&B experience for the bar.

Where: 2nd floor, 60, Chowringhee Road, Taltala

Open: Sun-Fri 4-11.30pm, Sat 4pm-2am

Pocket pinch: Rs 2,500 for two, with alcohol

Plan B

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to Plan B of course! The new spot on Park Street is the popular Bengaluru chain Plan B: House of Wings and their Kolkata location is fast gaining popularity. The Kolkata location seats about 85 and with chessboard floor tiles, neon signs, and wooden accents, it creates a casual setting that is perfect to enjoy their signature item — the chicken wings. Plan B and House of Wings are famous for hosting the ABS challenge, and even has a section to complete the challenge of devouring a dozen of the spiciest wings in under four minutes. The menu also has an array of other kinds of wings, from Citrus Peri Peri to Mexican Chipotle.

If you’re not into wings, you can try other menu offerings that include American-style appetisers, TexMex picks, Continental dishes and more. Also look out for their lively chicken mascot, who brings some laughs and cheer to create a lively dine-out experience.

“We were confident about Plan B because we know how much this city loves its food. And since the spot is the ‘House of Wings’ with Dawn Thomas as the franchise owner, we knew it would sit well. Many people have heard and been to the franchises in Bangalore and we wanted to bring that experience here,” said Anshuman Singh who co-owns the local franchise with Rajdeep Chakraborty.

Where: 22, Park Street, Park Street area

Open: Mon-Sun noon to midnight

Pocket pinch: Rs 750 for two without alcohol

145 Cafe and Bar

Another F&B venture from outside the city, the 145 Cafe and Bar is part of the same group as the popular 145 Kala Ghoda in Mumbai. The name ‘145’ is a nod to the story of their flagship address in Mumbai, and after running there successfully for eight years, it has now made its way to Celica Park on Park Street. The 7,000sq ft area has both an indoor and outdoor sections, and focusses on craft cocktails with a food menu inspired by international street food. While the indoor section has a warehouse-inspired aesthetic with dark, wooden tones, the more open outer section is done in shades of dark blue, and has a view of the city.

You can enjoy a cosy drink by the bar, or rev it up indoors from noon to midnight. Old Bombay charm meets modern design aesthetics in the all-day space which offers global comfort food with a playful spin. Keeping the international street food theme in mind, the place has an array of dishes like Magic Masala Potato Skins and Pav Bhaji Cones. They also have some in-house signature items like the Freakshake and Cotton Candy Head.

“With the success of our first four ventures, we’ve come to understand that our brand has so much to offer and great scope to expand. We have now ventured out of Mumbai and opened our fifth outlet in Park Street. With over 7,000 sq ft of stunning interiors, we promise to deliver the 145 experience in its entirety to the Kolkata nightlife space,” said Ayush Killa, co-partner, 145.

Where: 10th floor, Celica Park, 24 Park St, Park Street area

Open: Mon-Tue 4pm-midnight; Wed-Thu 4pm-1am; Fri 4pm-2am, Sat-Sun noon-2am

Pocket pinch: Rs 1,800-plus for two with alcohol

Drunken Teddy

If ‘it’s 5 o’clock somewhere’ is your mantra or you’re looking to head to a lounge to chill with friends, the Drunken Teddy should be on your list. The all-day lounge in the Horizon Building on Elgin Road gives you all you need at any time of the day. The 15,000 sq ft space is divided into three outdoor areas or ‘balconies’, a separate VIP seating, and an indoor space has a dining area, a DJ console with a dancefloor space. Though intended for 160 covers, the lounge accommodates close to 300 people on weekends. Serving a pan-Asian menu, they have a choice of tempura and sushi on their menu along with live counters.

Drunken Teddy has various events being hosted through the week. They have a weekly Sunday brunch, but weekends usually attract the party crowd. Post 9pm, the place turns into a nightclub, and they host all kinds of DJ and live music events. On August 4, the lounge plans to host DJ Chetas for some Bollywood madness.

“We recently did a Barbie-themed brunch which was a success. On Wednesdays, we do live music. It’s not only a nightclub, you get everything under one roof. The nightlife scene is also quite small but on some days, we look at kitty parties and corporate employees who just want to sit back with a Caldera,” said Radhika Agarwal, owner, Drunken Teddy.

Where: Horizon Building, 57, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Elgin

Open: Mon,Tue, Thu, Sun noon-midnight; Wed, Fri, Sat noon-2am

Pocket pinch: Rs 2,500 for two, with alcohol

Last updated on 31.07.23, 08:40 PM
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