So after a day of getting used to being on the Indian subcontinent and getting a lung full of exhaust, I decided to treat myself to some much needed alcohol therapy, but had no clue where to go besides the "old boys club" type bar that was in the Hotel.
Due to recent changes in the laws of Karnakata, nightlife in Bangalore has taken a serious hit. Once known as the "pub city" of India, options are pretty limited now that there is an 11:30pm closing time and I hear that there is a "dancing ban"...sounds alot like NYC during Guilliani's quality of life campaign when he resurrected the Cabaret Law and NYC nightlife ground to a slow throb.
I fired up the WiFi and started looking around- lo and behold, one of Bangalore's hottest clubs, Athena, is actually in my hotel! I showered and changed and headed downstairs, honestly skeptical of just how "hot" this clubbing experience would be. I have to admit, after playing music in clubs throughout the US and Canada, I am pretty jaded when it comes to club life but I have to admit Athena was a pleasant surprise.
Located in the sub-basement of the Leela Palace Hotel, it's not the biggest club I've ever been in, it's more of an ultra lounge, very similar to what you might find in South Beach-, but it didn't feel cramped, had a throbbing soundsystem and some pretty interesting seating options and design.
Speaking of South Beach- Bangalore has a very familiar vibe and I can't help but draw comparisons, only difference is that instead of Boriquenos, Cubanos and Dominicanos, it's Indians- but back to the club!
When I got there, it was a little early and there were maybe 50-100 people already inside. By the time I ordered my first round, the crowd had easily swollen to about 200-250 and more were heading in. Athena looks like it could hold around 500 patrons easily, so there was plenty of room to dance and check out the scene. The music was a blend of house and top 40 mashups, and the kids were having blast- singing mostly in Kannada, but as soon as a tune with English lyrics came on, the place went wild!
I hung out until close to 11:30p, but didn't want to deal with the throngs of kids trying to leave when the lights came up, so chalking up a pretty decent first time Bangalore club experience, I decided to call it a night and head back to the room to try and shake off the jet lag.
Tomorrow: More exploring...