At a time when there’s a new pub or club popping up every week in the city, there are a few places that still have their old-world charm.
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel’s Harbour Bar is one of them.
But, it isn’t just any vintage bar; it holds a piece of Mumbai’s history behind its doors.
Join us as we give you a glimpse into the iconic and charm-laden Harbour Bar.
The bar gets its name from the spectacular view that it offers. The Gateway of India in all of its majestic glory can be viewed from the elegant windows while you sip on your drink. Since opening its doors in 1933, the bar, with its nautical vibe and wooden floors was a hit amongst travellers and the city’s elite. No wonder it’s compared to the likes of the Savoy in London or the one in Waldorf Astoria in New York.
After earning the esteemed title of being the city’s oldest licensed bar – with the licence no. 001 – it has been serving unforgettable cocktails since the last 85 years. One of these, is the famed ‘From The Harbour Since 1933.’
Story goes that in the year 1933, the prohibition era in America has just been lifted and two American sailors who had just set foot in the city were obviously in a mood to raise a toast to the occasion. This led them to the Harbour Bar which was buzzing with patrons. After eventually settling in at the bar, they asked the bartender to make a drink that was completely unique. With every sip making them admire the drink more and more, they asked the bartender for its name. Seeing their appreciation, he invited them to name it themselves.
And thus, the legendary ‘The Harbour Since 1933’ was christened!
A delicious mix of pineapple and cranberry juices, it is sweet and refreshing with a hint of bitterness.
In the earlier days, one could order food from any of the restaurants situated inside the hotel premises, be it Indian, Chinese, or Continental, making the bar’s menu truly versatile. This multi-cuisine approach has now been replaced with a more ‘global tapas’ menu and caters to every kind of customer.
It has some interesting fusion favourites like Gaucamole Golgappa and Candied Lamb Fritters and even classics like Chilli Chicken and Pepper Prawns for you to pair with your tipple.
What once looked like an old boy’s club, Harbour Bar has now had a sleek makeover with marble elements and an art deco feel. An intimate setting with a cosy seating, makes it the perfect venue to savour the finest of malts, the most exclusive of wines and of course, the historic cocktails. To make things better, on Speakeasy Saturdays there's live jazz, too.
From its colonial days till today, the Harbour Bar has stood the test of time and is still one of the most sought-after places to head to for a business meeting or to unwind during lazy evenings.