Animal lovers rejoice. Now, you can go have a drink with your beloved pooch, your cheeky monkey and even your infuriatingly sulky cat in Mumbai!
Mumbaikars are taking baby steps to correct their non-pet-friendly image. A promising start in this direction has been the launch of a pet-friendly bar in the city, ZooBar.
FoodService India dropped in to check out this animal-friendly zone which more than welcomes your four-legged friends.
Located in the hustle-bustle of the Vile Parle Market, ZooBar is the brainchild of ardent pet lover, Nishant Joshi. Having grown up with dogs, rabbits and (even a chimpanzee at some point) it was very frustrating for Joshi to leave his pets home when he went out for a dinner. “None of the restaurants we frequented allowed pets and that was a real pain,” he laments. Thankfully, his partners in the venture – Niteesh Tokle and Paarth Pandya – are animal enthusiasts as well. The bar is associated with World For All and a percentage of the revenue is diverted to animal welfare.
Having been a hospitality entrepreneur for quite some time now, Joshi believes that the biggest challenge in the F&B sector is to try and make every customer happy.
“With every individual having different ideas, sometimes it gets a little difficult to cater to every need in quick time as we would like it to be.”
The situation, at times, puts restaurants at the receiving end of unscrupulous Zomato reviewers.
“These people post bad review without understanding the nuances of the cuisine. You could get a bad review even if someone is denied a table on a busy night when we recommend prior reservation,” says Joshi.
As a unique F&B destination, it is unlikely that ZooBar would have to face the short stick of churlish Zomato reviewers anytime soon. For one, there are facilities plenty to sooth your soul. Apart from having one of the longest bars (34 feet) in the city, ZooBar also welcomes pets to its al fresco section.
Patrons are not just encouraged to bring their pets along but there is also a separate pet menu with delicacies like chicken broth, vegetable broth, paneer steak, etc. The prices for items in the pet menu range from Rs 75 – Rs145. A soft board at the entrance invites people to stick pictures of pets for adoption.
Spread across 3,600 square feet with an 800 square feet al fresco area, the ZooBar has an industrial décor with exposed pipes and re-purposed furniture made in Jodhpur. The venue is brought to life by various fun animal sculptures and art work
done by Mod’Art students.
This bar serves 13 types of beers and six varieties of craft. There is an exclusive range of cocktails including the zoo size iced tea, fresh fruit apple and coriander sangria, dancing jar (lemon grass infused Jack Daniel’s honey served with ginger ale) and much more.
The food menu at ZooBar has been put together with help from Joshi’s friends – chefs Mikhail and Mohammed – who have previously been part of successful ventures like 212 and Charcoal Biryani.
The menu features burgers served in cages, pizzas, Turkish, Arabic and Pan Asian food. Then there are theme nights throughout the week – Karoake, Board Games, Wednesday Ladies nights, etc. – which help to retain the interest of the predominately young crowd that throngs the bar.