‘Let’s meet at Someplace Else.
It’s been a year since Someplace Else opened in the swanky Jio World Drive Mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex.
Walk past the Micheal Kors and Ralph Laurens to Level Two until you hit a wall of technicoloured timber bearing letters that spell out Someplace Else, a name that’s part of the DNA of every music-loving Kolkatan.
The house is packed on a Friday night. Cocktails are free-flowing and plates of the signature wok-tossed chilli chicken are doing the rounds. White Vinyl, inspired by rock legends, is doing a soundcheck on stage. A few minutes later, the band bursts into life, and the crowd inches closer to the stage.
It’s like Someplace Else Kolkata, and yet, it is not.
“The major difference between the two is the look and feel of the place. Someplace Else Mumbai is vibrant, while Someplace Else at The Park Kolkata has an English pub-style vibe. Our thought was to bring in a new product and feel for the new market,” shares Rahul Makhija, general manager, The Park Navi Mumbai, who also oversees the operations at SPE Mumbai.
If Kolkata’s SPE stands for old school rock, the Mumbai outpost is its younger, vibrant cousin
The Mumbai outpost is its younger, vibrant cousin, and its design takes cues from the “technicolour in nature”. The main entrance is decorated with multicoloured vinyl murals and the inside is spacious with plush velvet lounge seating and a double-sided bar. Large rattan lamps are fitted to the ceiling and everything is dripping with colour. It’s a bit like a Meghan Trainor music video meets Katy Perry, but there’s also Pink Floyd playing in the backdrop. So, by the end of the night, you’re probably somewhere between Fireworks and Comfortably Numb.
The interior is spacious with plush velvet lounge seating and a double-sided bar. Large rattan lamps are fitted to the ceiling and everything is dripping with colour
As far as legacy is concerned, the new outpost has been able to live up to it. Kolkata bands like Urban Monkz have played in both destinations, and while live music is the focus, the venue also sees a splattering of international and home-grown DJs. Nikhil Chinapa headlined a gig at the beginning of November and DJ Suketu is all set to pump up the jam on November 26.
Pushing forward the envelope of change, book-reading sessions, comic gigs and even #WFB (work from bar) are part of the event calendar. “In the daytime, the music is soft and we often have the office-going crowd from the next-door corporate campus of Maker Maxity coming in for meetings, or to celebrate occasions after dark,” adds Makhija.
The #WFB (work from bar) concept caters to the office-going crowd from the mall’s neighbouring ‘corporate campus’ Maker Maxity
For many Kolkatans, who have made Mumbai home or are passing through Maximum City, it is the familiarity that draws one in. Shreya Dutt, a Bengali who lives in Mumbai, was catching up with friends at the hotspot on Friday night. “I have heard of the legendary Someplace Else on Park Street in Kolkata from my friends and family there, but have never had the chance to visit. Now that Mumbai has one, I had to swing by. The music is different from the regular commercial stuff,” said the PR professional.
Menu bestsellers include the signature cocktails, a selection of dim sums and flatbreads,wok-tossed Chilli Chicken ala SPE and Panko-crusted Hara Bhara Kebab
“We’ve had a lot of people who have come here because they’ve been to Someplace Else in Kolkata or heard of it,” agrees Ruchika Mehta, corporate director, communications & PR, The Park Hotel.
There are only a handful of live music venues in Mumbai — several have closed doors because of the pandemic — and it is places like Someplace Else that keep the music going. But if the response to music festival Lollapalooza featuring Imagine Dragons (set to take place in Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse in January 2023) is any indicator of the future of live music concerts and gigs, it is as bright as the colours that paint Someplace Else Mumbai.