A review of ZooBar (As if you haven’t been there already)



This article is written by Nidhi Parekh (BA.LL.B. Class of 2019)

I am writing this after being pestered by a certain man who has taken me to probably the shadiest place I will ever go to and who got my hopes high about going to Nirma together for a moot and then breaking my heart by going with other people. I had already written a 300 word shitty article that I wrote in 15 minutes but apparently it wasn’t good enough so I am writing this.

If it wasn’t for how much I love Jaidhara, who has been my travel buddy, my breakfast buddy and is also my second favourite person in this college after Amrita (who is more like a mother), I wouldn’t even be writing this. I’m only doing this for all the wonderful (and sometimes disgusting) memories she and I share together at ZooBar and otherwise. JD and I have sat near the driver of a sleeper bus for 12 hours, waiting for the sunrise (which we never saw) and have even seen a lady squat right in front of us and start peeing, so basically we’ve seen it all.

So this is the real deal. If you read this and don’t feel like going to ZooBar, then read Teesta Sen’s review of Quench because that is truly your only other option. I’ve been there only once, maybe because I have a clear bias towards ZooBar and also mostly because Quench is more expensive, so I can’t really compare these two places. Teesta has done an excellent job so go read that and choose for yourself.

Why should you go to ZooBar? Like a good ISCE student I’m going to tell you in points with underlined headings:

  1. Cheap alcohol and no ID issues (Do you even need more reasons?)

ZooBar is arguably the closest bar to NMIMS. It’s about a 3 min walk, on the way to the station. They open at 12pm which is perfect for those of us who want to go right after college and we have several times, perpetually on Tuesdays. They have happy hours till 8pm which means one plus one free on Fosters. A pint of Fosters on tap costs Rs.83 inclusive of everything during happy hours. This place tests your capacity and most of us have learnt that there is such a thing as too much beer. The sangria too, is also relatively inexpensive but the beer on tap is just better and cheaper option if you want to get hammered. They have a lot of options in terms of cocktails and there is some offer during happy hours for everyone, no matter what you drink.

Best part? No ID issues whatsoever. If you go before 8pm, you can just walk in and they will serve you, even if you look like an infant in Chota Bheem t-shirt. If only we knew of this place when we were 14 so we didn’t have to go around sneaking our parents alcohol.

  1. Good Food (At ZooBar and around)

If it is the first week of the month and your pocket is heavy with all the money you’re carrying around, ZooBar is a great place to lose all of it. The food is great but way too overpriced. The soups, pastas or pizzas are worth trying. They have quite a selection of desserts for a bar and they all sound yum. If you’re anything like me then you know you need a lot food with alcohol (or pretty much anything) and if ZooBar is too expensive then don’t worry. McDonald’s is right under ZooBar. You can pre-eat and go up to drink or even leave in between and pick up something to eat. If you’re a regular then they even allow you to eat outside food. It is a good idea if you want to slip away for a bit once the alcohol starts kicking in and everyone starts getting too existential for you to handle. Fries are always the answer. There are a lot of other places to eat such as Fat Kong, Khasiyat, and Juno’s Pizza that are all a minute away.

  1. Quirky ambience

[3.1.] Décor:

It’s called ZooBar for a reason. There are figurines of giraffes, ostriches, zebras and paintings of lions along with a cute wall art that says ‘Be Pawsitive.’ They have an outside sitting area for all you smokers as well as tables inside that have sofa seats on one side, so it is quite a comfortable place. School of Law students have a table designated at the back of the bar so if you’re headed here be sure to see some of us drinking our sorrows away. It’s squeaky clean, and a well-lit bar that is surprisingly big for it’s location so it is perfect to come in large groups. The stairs might be a problem for after you’re drunk so be sure to have a friend or the very friendly waiters help you down before you fall and crack your skull open.

[3.2.] Music:

They mostly play retro and old school music in the afternoons, which is perfect to have a good conversation, but in the night the place becomes a bar cum club with the DJ playing the latest numbers. However, they play Pink Floyd and Radiohead out of the blue in case you weren’t feeling existential enough while drinking on a Tuesday afternoon.

[3.3.] Games:

They offer games to play and even have a fair collection of books. It’s a great place to unwind with a couple of friends after a hard day of college. And no matter how much noise you make, none of the waiters complain unless they find you running around disturbing other customers.

[3.4.] Unisex Bathrooms:

ZooBar has a unisex bathroom. A very progressive move that lets all transsexuals or trans-genders or apache helicopters to feel comfortable while they piss out all the beer they’ve drank. Here I would like to quote the great Himesh Reshamiya who said, “Tere shareer mein itna khoon nahi hoga. jitna Ravi Kumar ek baar mein moot deta hai.” The beauty of a quote by such a great person is that it is applicable in so many different situations, whether to threaten your girlfriend’s kidnapper or talk about how much one pees after beer. My mother actually saw this guy as a prospective suitor the same week she met my father. #truestory. If she would’ve chosen him I might have had a successful singing career. If only!

Now all of you horny kids thinking this is going to be your new make out spot need to think again. We tried once but they had a guard in the toilet, who will relentlessly knock on your bathroom door and will kick you out. However, the guard appears and disappears on random days and his schedule remains a mystery. If you find a way to get past him, then bang away my friend.

  1. Pet Friendly

ZooBar is one of the few places in Mumbai you can bring your pets to. The waiters are very friendly and be sure to have everyone else at the bar swooning over your pet. It is actually a great way to get dates. Bring your pet to ZooBar on Valentine’s Day and be sure that everyone at the bar is going to come up to pet them. Start a conversation with whoever you think is cute and voila! You have a date. And if my brilliant idea doesn’t work or you don’t have a pet because your mother has threatened you with the typical ‘It is either me or the dog in this house’, then go there with your girlfriends/guy friends because nothing is better than a night out of getting shit faced with the people you love.

In conclusion, ZooBar is THE place to go, whether you’re tired of the hectic routine of college or you’re fed up with the projects and presentations or you’re bored or for no reason at all (we barely need an excuse to drink). It’s got cheap booze with no ID problems and you should definitely go to check out the eccentric interiors. Bring your pet or come with your friends and be sure to have a great time with all the games, booze and food ZooBar has to offer. See you there next Tuesday!


Quench? Quench.

This article is written by Teesta Sen (BA.LL.B. Class of 2019)
I was emotionally blackmailed into writing this article by a friend I’ve made memories like accidentally burning his hair while lighting a Cuban cigar on a kitchen gas stove (he was so drunk he held the burnt hair in his palm looked at an equally drunk me and said “Wait that’s my hair”) with, for two reasons:
  1. In the honour of the unsuccessfully lit Cuban cigar
  2. Despite, having accomplished things in my two and a half years of Law school, my foremost reputation of being a liberal alcoholic female always precedes me.
Admittedly, I do enjoy the occasional drink and it is one of the many illicit stressbusters law school has taught me to indulge in guilt free, which is why I often find myself staring at John Lennon’s face at Quench. For those of you who have just stepped into the world of “chal beer peene jaate hai, sab aa rahe hai” after college hours, Quench is located about 10-15 minutes away from college next to Juhu Starbucks and Grain and Bagel (Grain&Bagel has AWESOME waffles by the way, skip the 8 am lecture and have breakfast there once).
When should you go to Quench? (Gyaan you actually need plus a lot of Zoobar-Quench comparisons, pick your side loyalist. )
  1. Don’t bother going there unless you’re “old enough” to consume alcohol (which is where that obscure picture of your ID card in your gallery showing you were born in 1994 or earlier becomes your lifeline). Once you have the said ID proof, they don’t really care even if you look 16. Trust me I know. My ID unfortunately says 1993 and since I’ve been blessed with the struggles of chubby cheeks coupled with the height of a minion, the only hassle I faced after showing my ID to the guard at the entrance was a “93 HAHAHAHAH” and a snigger. I went to the fourth floor and had a good time whilst ignoring the waiters mentally calculating my height and age, when taking my order.

    Wait. You don’t have one yet? Breathe, you’re in a college that survives trimester deadlines due to alcohol and grass vapour, your friend can photoshop or procure a fake one for you.

    Does ZooBar care? Not before 8pm.

  2. Quench is more expensive than ZooBar (more on that eternal debate, later). They care about demonetisation struggles about as much as Russia cares about Aleppo right now, which means you need to feel rich before walking into this place. So unless you’re the kind that orders first and then pays later by counting the last few coins and chutta notes that you have because you enjoy blowing up money on sangrias, (Hey whatever makes you happy, we follow a live and let live policy) you’ll need much more than you spend on an average Anand dosa. And by much more I mean shelling out, about 300-400 bucks if you’re dutching in a group of 2-3 people, depending on how much y’all order.
  3. The food is expensive but BRILLIANT. Now, no one goes to Zoobar to order food  but the crowd that comes to Quench actually orders a substantial amount of food too. Why? Because the last time I ordered tacos in Zoobar and paid 400 bucks for it, I got five methi paratha pieces shaped like taco shells, the size of a dwarfs erectile stump, with (wait for it) paneer ki sabzi inside them. And the imbeciles dared to call it “Taco Twist” or some name that was a sorry excuse for feeding me ghar ka khaana and robbing me simultaneously.
  4. MUSIC AND AMBIANCE  (THEY HAVE LENNONS FACE PAINTED ON A WALL, AN ENTIRE WALL.) I love the ambiance in Quench. The decor has a very grungy feel to it, there’s a mesh wall, guitar and whiskey bottle pin ups. Chandeliers made out of empty green glass bottles, mood lighting, comfy couches, chairs and tables. And two quaint hand painted walls.

    The DJ is someone my best friend and I wanted to at least go to first base with after listening to his playlist. There’s no trashy Bollywood music, so if that’s your mojo, go for the Zoobar Bollywood nights.

    Quench offers classic rock to electro, a healthy dose of bands like Beatles, Pink Floyd and the Eagles. Jimi Hendrix shows up as do Led Zeppelin and Evanescence, even some catchy tracks from 2008 you’d forgotten you loved (read: Enrique, Shakira and yes Backstreet Boys) which you’ll find yourself singing along and reminiscing to now, sprinkled with the occasional icing of Coldplay etc. They have an inclination towards English music but Bollywood makes a fun guest appearance now and then.

    It’s always an eclectic mix at Quench, and there’s always a song for every mood in the room.

  5. Toilets? It is advisable to not use the toilets they have because:

    1. You’ll 9 times out of 10 become an unwilling witness of couples awkwardly breaking off mid-second base so you can pass through or of couples that are so involved in playing tonsil tennis, your beer filled bladder is last on their list of fucks to give. Unless voyeurism is your thing, and you will not feel worse about your sad dry single existence, we recommend holding it in and not venturing up the very fwb friendly staircase that leads to the bathroom.
    2. The sanitation isn’t exactly stellar. My friend who’d run up to relieve herself, came down unrelieved whining about how there was a piece of shit lying on the bathroom floor. So buckle up and use the toilet elsewhere. We recommend bladder control exercises for men and kegel for the women, to be able to calm our bladder chakras till we reach a better toilet.
    3. Also steps. You have to climb quite a few steps before reaching the bathroom and for someone with cerebellum issues once the alcohol hits,the risk of falling down a flight of stairs because I now have the equilibrium of a toddler outweighs the risk of my bladder bursting and me dying in a pool of blood and urine. (Probably shouldve put a “Warning: contains graphic imagery about pee pee”)
    Zoobar has unisex bathrooms perfect for groupfies you’ll be embarrassed to DP once you’re sober and for your sober friends of the opposite gender to carry you and help you inside the toilet.

Two of my friends and I have a post exam tradition of drinking where we order a Budweiser and a shot of whisky for ourselves and then proceed to, mix them together (it actually tastes quite nice, like candied cough syrup with the right nip of bitter beer, it’s not an acquired taste, you’ll like it and honestly do you really care about how the drink tastes or how it makes you *feel*?) because that’s the cheapest way to get high, in one pint of beer. Also, my friend who suggested it is Punjabi and hence has a healthy love for whiskey. Anyway, so once we were drunk and we started to truly understand the meaning of YOLO, we opened the food menu (try it when you’re sober and you’ll see what I mean) and ordered fries. Then, because we weren’t satisfied with making just one stupid drunk decision, we ordered nachos.
But living life on the edge has its perks and hence WE LOVED THE FOOD. Totally worth the money and our kidneys. The quantity is awesome, the amount of melted cheese is enviable and it was the perfect platter of finger food.
Moral of the story?
  1. Try Beer & Whiskey (Bhiskey? Weer? Cheap thrills?)
  2. Big group? Loads of money? Order Quench food! (It has a great Zomato rating too)
  3. Just money for drinks? Eat canteen or Anand dosa food and go. Drinking on an empty stomach is fun till you pass out and don’t remember what you were up to and why your face hurts.
While Zoobar offers jenga, a rack filled with books, slightly cheaper alcohol, fascinating animal themed decor, average food and a groupfie conducive environment, Quench has its own set of charms. In my opinion, the music, lighting, decor and feel of Quench offers a more hippie rock,  chilled out “beer and beats” vibe. And the prospect of delicious food never hurt anyone, did it?
So head over to Quench after college this Saturday with your gang and experience Juhu’s most underrated Ghetto.