India's Silicon Valley grapples with alcohol ban

Indian men drink coffee from beer mugs at Pecos, one of Bangalore's oldest pubs.

Story highlights

  • As many as 750 establishments affected by the ban
  • Bengaluru is among India's most cosmopolitan cities

Samantha Machado is a member of 101Reporters, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.

Bengaluru, India (CNN)This Friday, office workers in Bengaluru -- the Silicon Valley of India -- will be unable to enjoy a customary after work drink, following a court ruling outlawing the sale of alcohol in the majority of the city's bars and restaurants.

In the last seven days over 700 pubs, hotels, restaurants and wine stores in the heart of the city have gone dry, with many being forced to shut shop altogether.
The nationwide ruling, which officially came into effect on Saturday July 1, is the result of a Supreme Court order banning the sale of alcohol within 500 meters (0.3 miles) of national highways.
    Whereas most Indian cities have been unaffected by the ruling, downtown Bengaluru is relatively unique in that it is crisscrossed by six major roads classified as national highways.
    The city's most prominent and well known highway -- Mahatma Gandhi Road -- passes through the central business district, a nightlife hotspot boasting an estimated 140 bars, while Old Madras Road, is also dotted with bars and restaurants.
    Drinkers are served coffee in a beer mug at Pecos, one of Bengaluru's oldest pubs.

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