At The Bombay Report, we’ve worked hard to uphold our proud tradition of debilitating alcoholism, and turn our quarter-life crises into a full-time job. Over the years, we’ve visited bars all over the city, and have found some real gems, showing us how great a shady bar can truly be. However, our journey into the seedy underbelly of Mumbai’s dive bars began much like yours, in college. Though our syntax may indicate otherwise, we at The Bombay Report actually went to college; that is if you consider the liberal arts to be a valid field of study and not some hogwash made up to trick women into getting an education. But were the college bars we visited back in the day really any good? Or is our memory clouded by the sweet bliss of nostalgia and chronic brain damage from all the underage drinking? In this article, we’ll find out:
If you don’t really care about things like great food, cheap alcohol, or breathing, Sunlight has a lot to offer in terms of having a good time. Sunlight’s main attraction is of course, the jukebox. It’s mostly just used to play DDLJ songs, but if you manage to wrestle it away from the 19 year olds, you can play some good music instead, but you will have to shell out 10 bucks per song, which is even more predatory than iTunes. The food is pretty decent, and they only serve quarters after 6pm, which is a bummer if, like us, you start drinking at 1 pm on a Monday. Overall, it’s a great place if you’re looking to feed off the youths for your personal sustenance, but as far as dive bars go, it’s just slightly below average .
Yacht completely transformed a few years ago, and while it may have lost what made it special, i.e. the imminent feeling that the roof was going to collapse on your head, it’s certainly gotten a lot better in other ways. The food and alcohol are still incredibly cheap, though we never really order anything besides boiled peanuts and old monk. If you get really lucky or have the kind of street cred we do, they may just give you a table in the back room that may be slightly quieter or infinitely noisier depending on who you’re paired up with. As far as dive bars go, Yacht would actually be a fairly decent place, it’s cheap, convenient, and has reasonably good service.
To some it may be a labyrinth of from which there’s no return; a narrow maze of rooms, smoke, and darkness that’s sure to strike fear into the hearts of all but the bravest, or drunkest of warriors, but to most it’s just Gokul; a place that’s more like a full blown party than a bar. The food is surprisingly good if you manage to find a waiter, which is easier said done. The alcohol on the other hand is a fair deal more expensive than you’d think, which is a pity because you’ll need a lot if you’re going to make sense of the chaos all around you. Overall it’s not really a great bar, but it’s certainly a fun place to be.
The Decree: Of the three college bars we visited, none could ever hope to objectively compete with any of the above-average dive bars listed on this site. Which is why we probably won’t be visiting them any time soon. That being said, college bars do serve the valuable purpose of keeping teenagers out of our places of worship so they don’t desecrate our serene and solemn drinking experiences with their cheeriness and optimism. If you drink because you’re happy, any college bar will be sufficient. If you drink because you’re the only one in your friend circle who can see the (((international bankers))) destroying your country as the world heads to a UN dictatorship and the only way out of the New World Order is the sweet embrace of death; you go to a dive bar.