The nightlife in Pune has never been boring (here’s proof), but this party pad is so cool, it is shaking up the city’s culinary landscape! With its unique concept, The Bar Stock Exchange has Pune’s gastronomic punters trading drinks over delectable bar snacks and an electrifying ambience. Without a doubt, it is an idea that has found favour with patrons who enjoy unusual bars (check out some of the country’s other top quirky bars here). In retrospect, it seems like a travesty that this concept of blending tipples and trading — India’s pet passions post cricket and Bollywood — wasn’t rolled out earlier.
Better late than never, Mihir Desai and Amit Singh’s breakout bar concept, launched under the aegis of their hospitality company Corum (which already had The Big Bang Bar and Masala Zone in its kitty), took Mumbai by storm in 2014. Two years later, The Bar Stock Exchange had Pune’s hipsters making a beeline for Lane 7 in Koregaon Park. What’s not to love — or be intrigued by, at the very least — about a stock-market based pub, where the drink prices change based on real-time demand and supply!
GAME ON: WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT
The Bar Stock Exchange’s appeal lies in its theme, tailor-made to unleash every self-respecting Indian’s inner Jordan Belfort. Throw in some avant-garde tech that monitors the demand and supply algorithm and you have people showing up at the door just to get their heads around the concept. Once inside, the modus operandi falls into place soon enough. As a customer, you download their app (you can trade live too) and keep a hawk’s eye on the price of your favourite stock (drink) and trade in real time, in suitably corporate-chic surroundings. The 5,000 square-foot space is designed to simulate a real stock exchange, with proprietary software, trading servers, LCD screens, LED tickers and the quintessential gong.
All spirits start at a base price and are governed by the laws of demand and supply. Based on frequency of order and the time periods within which different customers place orders, the demand of a particular spirit, wine or beer grows or declines and the prices go up or down. If a particular brand is in demand, its price shoots up, and the ones that aren’t in demand would be available at less than the MRP at that time. Once every day, the market crashes as well so eager-beavers can snap up their beloved tipples at rock bottom prices. Don’t tell your boss, but it may benefit you to sneak out of a meeting and sprint here in the afternoon; we’re talking pegs of rum for Rs. 15 and other such deals that will have you addicted to the ‘trade floor’ in no time.
We could tell you more, but why not check out this video of a TBSE outlet in Mumbai to get a better idea of what to expect. The Pune property is strikingly similar.
BLUE CHIP INVESTMENTS: WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT
If you can tear your eyes away from the ticking LED screens, or are done sulking in the yawning alfresco area because you’re having that kind of a day at the ‘market,’ we’d like to direct your attention to the non-liquid part of The Bar Stock Exchange menu. A spread of desi classics with au courant, global twists and techniques, it offers robust accompaniments to the alcohol. We suggest straying from the chakna and nachos bowls to order the Mumbaiya Crostini (pav bhaji on a toasted chunk of baguette), the TBSE Barrah (sweet and spicy lamb chops) and the house favourite, Misal Pav Fondue. The general crowd pleasers — Chicken Tikka Popcorn, Stuffed Mushroom, Hummus and Pita Platter and Thai Basil Chicken — pair well with a smooth scotch. At other times, your beer belly will welcome the blockbuster meat dishes. We recommend the Grilled Chicken Harissa as a lighter, more sophisticated option for meat lovers; best savoured with a Whisky Sour.
HAPPY HOURS ALL DAY: WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT!
The Bar Stock Exchange has clearly got a finger on the pulse of young, urban Indians — given that their pan-India tally of outlets stands at 10 in a few short years. Standing its ground in the face of the hot microbrewery trend in Koregaon Park, the Pune outlet isn’t running out of steam anytime soon. There’s always a vibrant pub atmosphere, with pop, rock and retro tunes blasting over the ticking screens, and there’s plenty of rambunctious celebration when a killing is made. The pub slashes the ‘happy hours’ concept and hands the baton to the customers, leaving it to your (genetically Indian) trading instincts to reap rich dividends. You can hop over with your squad and easily spend three to four hours betting and reaping delicious dividends. We’ve had over 10 beers and a similar number of cocktails with food and the bill stayed resolutely under the Rs. 4,000 mark. The owners tend to be awfully generous on special occasions too. In June this year, the KP outlet’s birthday celebrations offered the greatest return-gifts ever — pints of beer for a flat rate of Rs. 10 (you know we love return gifts and are always recommending this trend). Of course, it was just that one brand and the offer was only for one day, but we don’t need to tell you how that payoff played out!
Image Credits: whatshot; tbse; mouthshut, Franchise India
Looking for Pune’s best pubs and bars? Look no further — here’s our list!