After the highs of all-night Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, the Election Model Code of Conduct has thrown a spanner in the works of the nightlife industry in Goa. Why? Due to the prohibition of alcohol sales post 11 pm.
With all establishments refusing to sell alcohol after 10.45 pm, owners and party goers alike have been moping around with forlorn faces. Their expressions are likely to worsen until elections in Goa are done and dusted with.
The Election Commission announced that elections in Goa will be held on February 04, 2017. The Goa Government Administration issued an order stating “All the liquor shops, bars, restaurants, pubs, food joints, shacks should be closed every day by 11 pm from January 6 to February 2.”
“If any of these establishments are found to be open beyond 11 pm, its licence will be cancelled and the owner would face action under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobeying an order of a public servant).” adds the order.
Though aggrieved by it, most club and pub owners say that they are used to the drawback, knowing full well that business drops by 20% to 50% during the period.
Anticipating the Code and its ripple effect, Panjim-based Café Mojos dropped all artists for the month of January. Since January 6, there has been a drop in revenue of around 20% to 25%, informed Café Mojos’ Chief Officer.
Down The Road Pub has also seen a downturn in revenue, with the owner stating that income has dropped by as much as 50%.
Renowned names like SinQ, Tito’s, Café Mambos, Cape Town Café, Cavala and Cohiba have also taken a beating. Shacks and restaurants are hit as well.
It’s not just establishments that are down with election fever, tourists and locals are too!
“I came home to Goa to enjoy the New Year for a month before I return to work abroad. Less than a week into 2017, instead of struggling to find my bed at 6 am, I am snug under my blanket by midnight. It’s a complete waste of a holiday for me. I feel like I have aged in the last four days,” says Kenneth Paulo, an expat.
“LPK closed! Tito’s closed! Cohiba closed! What’s the point of coming to Goa if I cannot party? Hotels should put up statutory warnings next time. This is a complete waste of a holiday,” laments Kolkata-based Kaushani Sen.
“I’m happy everything closes at 11 pm nowadays because I can catch up on my much-needed beauty sleep after partying since Christmas. However, I am not happy on the weekends as I have to sit at home,” states Venita Gomes, a party lover.