Janata has, for decades now, been at the centre of a burgeoning, ever-changing suburb of alcoholics, with the influx of foreigners and ruthless romanticisation of Bandra only being great for business. Janata has a large, friendly staff, great food, cheap alcohol, clean bathrooms (GIRL POWER!) and an AC section upstairs where you can bring a date (dive bars make for great first dates). Why then, do we hate it so?
Like it’s ugly step cousin Yacht, Janata is a bar that has been around for ages, and was where our fathers went to get some chilled beers after (or during) college. But gone is the Janata of old. If you go to Janata tonight, you’ll be greeted by a group of smokers somehow trying to find a nook outside the tiny entrance on what is, basically, a busy main road. If you’re lucky you might get a table, otherwise you’ll be relegated to their waiting list. I’m going to put aside for a moment how degrading it is to be on a waiting list at a dive bar, and go straight ahead and say that I am not in the business of ‘waiting’ for my alcohol. And neither should you be. You aren’t the fucking Taj, Janata Lunch Home.
Going to a sidey bar for a beer is something that happens on the fly, and every man should have his right to a cold beer seconds from walking in the door. That’s what makes this country beautiful. Part of why Janata is so overrun by hipsters and foreigners is probably this clearly-for-white-people-article by Rohan Joshi about the best bars in the city. Yes, Janata is on the same list as Aér at the Four Seasons and The Harbour Bar at The Taj Mahal Palace. Thanks for nothing, Rohan Joshi.
But I digress. If you get in early and manage to get a table, it is more than possible to have a good time at Janata. The staff treat you well, the food is awesome, and you don’t feel like too much of a low life being at a dive bar at 3 in the afternoon because of what a nice place it is. Janata’s evolution, much like the ceaseless changing of Bandra is something that’s hard to avoid. And maybe that’s just the way it is. The best thing you could do about it is to go to a bar and drink your worries away, and for that, Janata will always have you covered. Here’s a picture of some bombil fry.