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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Quirky ambience
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.
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.
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.
- 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!