Powai, a bustling neighborhood with fresh ideas and youthful energy; about 500 start-ups within a 3 km-radius call Powai home, as does IIT Bombay. So it’s only natural that Social’s brand spanking new address had to be in the Silicon Valley of Mumbai.
After establishing 10 neighbourhood hotspots in the city, Powai Social has scored an ideal spot in Hiranandani Gardens. As it always does, Powai Social embodies the synergy of the self-sustaining area it resides in: the big Bombay dream come true, a world of its own, a thriving community.
Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, said, “We’re thrilled to open the doors to Social’s 24th outpost in the country. In the past five years, Social has become the fulcrum around which all kinds of human interactions happen. We love that our spaces create collisions, connections, and serendipities between individuals and communities. Our goal is to become as relevant to the hyperlocal community we reside in as the individual who comes to us. And coming to Powai is like coming home. The neighbourhood takes pride in its sense of community and conscientious living – both of these are values we hold dear at Impresario.”
The general mood of the space juxtaposes urban and natural elements in interesting ways, staying true to Social’s ‘minimal intervention, maximum upcycling’ design style. Shabnam Gupta, principal designer of The Orange Lane, the design studio behind the interiors, expressed, “We employed the use of vernacular architecture to stay as natural in our approach to the space. Powai Social features earthy tones of red, paired with concrete that emerges out of the ground and morphs into in-situ seating. This organic approach still retains the playfulness that Social is known for through quirky elements that we’ve seamlessly interwoven.”
The in-situ benches are a special feature of Powai Social, each dedicated to crucial moments in the history of Mumbai that are now kept alive in memory. While one bench is dedicated to the textile mills of Mumbai, another is dedicated to the now defunct RK Studios, while yet another is dedicated to Bajirao the last white tiger.
The natural flooring gives rise to bamboo sticks installed against the backdrop of concrete walls, intertwined by cloud-like floating lamps, tropical green hanging plants, and other special touches that make Powai Social an oasis of its own. Stepping in, you might be reminded of your local udyaan from the memories of your childhood. The seating also features upcycled chairs made from erstwhile car tyres placed around logwood tabletops, allowing the wood to retain its natural shape and form. The rustic tones of the space are further accentuated by hand-painted murals on the walls made using non-toxic paint, all of which allow the outlet to be expansive, but in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner.
The most essential part of this whole project, however, is the now iconic ‘fun dining’ menu. Other than its popular LLIITs, inventive cocktails, and exploratory food, Powai Social is the first outpost to serve a collection of keg cocktails, aptly called #khatra. These giant-sized kegs serve four litres of artfully blended cocktails and include a full bottle of liquor in a steel-encased keg.
“Our LLIITs have earned quite a name for themselves, which led us to understand the growing significance of community cocktails as part of the menu. So, our keg cocktails and new additions like pizzas are ways to push the envelope on giving our guests the offline experience they’ve come to relate SOCIAL with,” says Mayank Bhatt, business head, Social.
It’s clear that Powai’s ecosystem was missing a space that represents the local community’s aspirations of balancing quality of life with a quality space where one can chill with friends over great coffee and food, meet like-minded collaborators for work, or party at some of the best gigs in town.