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Soccer mania boosts footfalls in city bars

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, June 14 � Thousands of miles away from the Rainbow Nation, football fever has impacted on many lives, for some in a questionable manner. A sharp rise in customers has been seen in bars and liquor outlets in and around Guwahati from the time the World Cup started, and many of the customers are young.

At a bar on the GNB Road, a sales assistant said, �We are getting more customers these last couple of days every evening�they are mostly young men, but occasionally girls are also there�.

While many of the customers appear young, there are no provisions to check their age.

Dhruba, a young man studying in Bengaluru said that he has bar hopped while in Guwahati, as �friends are easier to meet at one place�. He said that although he does not drink, he finds it alright to meet his pals who usually have beer while watching a match.

A young professional working in the insurance business said her husband and his friends have started frequenting a particular lounge bar to watch the games on big screen television. But, she said that she would not prefer to watch a match at a bar with lots of people rooting for a team.

Enquiries revealed that after youths, professionals and businessmen form the largest section of bar goers. Unlike their younger counterparts, they are a quieter audience, but spend more money by the time a match gets over.

Girls have started stepping into lounge bars in recent times as well. Mita (name changed), a final year PG student said that a few of her acquaintances have been visiting bars, but with male companions. They know when to stop their friends, and move out with them before some mischief comes their way.

But even those not frequenting bars are turning up at liquor shops in more numbers. Anand and his close friend are passionate about following every game, but the duo makes sure that they have their preferred brands by their side to toast a goal.

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