Monday, January 2, 2017

Dance bars

All those air-conditioning units sticking out from this building seem to corroborate the claim on the board; yes, see, we indeed have air-conditioning, can't you see us all hanging out together at the A/C Bar? Although there are about 3,000 bars attached to the TASMAC outlets across the state, there are only about 600 of them that are air-conditioned. So that is certainly an attraction for patrons to visit this bar. 

But there was a time when no additional words was necessary for patrons to know what "PALS" had to offer. There were few places in the city where one could go to watch cabaret dances. Hotels such as Oceanic or Savera were at the high-end of this scale, but there were others as well, those which did not advertise their shows. Therefore, it was left to the school-boy's (or even college-goer's) imagination to visualise the dances at Pals, or Hotel Arun - the most popular names of that sector.

Today, there are no dance bars in Chennai. Oceanic's buildings have been pulled down. Savera shows no trace of ever having had dances on the premises. Hotel Arun has been built over by the Ampa Skywalk. Other bars have all had their names replaced with TASMAC authorised serial numbers. Maybe even this one does not have a name to it, for the TASMAC board just says 834. But the sign above it certainly recalls a part of Madras that has sadly disappeared, and Chennai has never ever known!

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