By Shevlin Sebastian
Photo by Manu R. Mavelil
The first sports bar in Kochi has opened. This is the 'Stadia' at the Holiday Inn. “We got a very positive response during the IPL [Indian Premier League]” says Raju Shrestha, the general manager. “People in Kochi are passionate about sport. We are looking at the Gen Y crowd who earn handsome salaries these days. Kochi has no place where you can watch sports telecasts and enjoy a drink.”
The hotel is also targeting another segment. “There are people, who, after a hard day's work, would like to unwind by watching sports,” says Nilay Saran, the director of sales. “Many of them bring their families along.”
The 'Stadia' has several paintings on the walls: of gymnasts, basketball players, boxers, pole vaulters and gymnasts, apart from images from previous Olympic Games. On one wall are two long canoes hung up, complete with paddles and seats. At another side, there are two green baize tables where you can play billiards or snooker. Two youngsters, with large pitchers of beer next to them, are enjoying a mid-afternoon game.
On each table, there is a small statue of a golfer taking a swing. And not to forgot big television screens mounted up on the walls above tables. There is also a proper bar, where you can sit on stools and have a drink. To reinforce the sporting angle, there is a large bronze statue of a muscular basketball player, with ball in hand, placed on the fluorescent counter-top.
Spread over an area of 2500 sq. ft. the bar caters to about 100 people at a time. It is open from 11 a.m. to midnight.
For those who want to watch sports in an air-conditioned ambiance, along with good snacks and drinks, 'Stadia' is the place to be.
(The New Indian Express, Kochi)