Tryst, a new club for very important people in Mumbai
There's an urban legend going around that has Mukesh Amabani's son sizing up Vijay Mallya's son over seats at a Mumbai night club. Story goes, they end up betting entire hotels on who gets the VIP table.
Over the last seven years the owners of a nightlife space in Phoenix Mills have learned a thing or two about what Mumbai's elite want -- and it comes down to visible VIP treatment.
The club's previous avatars were Ra in 2004, Play in 2008 and Ra again in 2009. Post several re-branding exercises the owners decided to scrap it all and start from scratch.
"To really make a name for a club. Like Fire and Ice or 1900s back in the day. These were clubs which created havoc in the city and redefined Bombay's nightlife," says co-owner Rajiv Tandon.
Tandon brought to Tryst his five years of experience promoting Mumbai's top nightclubs with Plan B entertainment.
This is what he learned.
1. No dance floor. Spenders want to feel important
"All new Bombay clubs look at getting a dance floor. But what people really want is to be seen. They want their importance felt. So we thought why have a central bar or dance floor at all. Let the high spenders feel more important, let's put their table in the middle."
Changing the entire structure of the space, three large hexagonal tables are placed in the middle of the room, which patrons can move around. The most expensive table occupies the central position in lieu of a dance floor.
Tryst can accommodate up to 400 people, and seat about 200.
2. Personal tables with ultra VIP service
There are nine tables and each has a personal bar, bartender, butler and a personal bouncer for every table.
"See, a lot of these kids in their early 20s are young and want to show their power," says Tandon. "They want to get their bodyguards in, but we didn't want that. We provide them bouncers so they can feel more important."
Booking a four person table at Tryst requires a minimum bill of Rs 30,000. Bigger groups get directed to the hexagonal sections for Rs 40,000 table minimum and Rs 1 lakh gets you the central "King table."
Call to reserve and Tryst pre-stocks the mini bar at your table according to what your group will drink tonight.
3. Novelty factor: Responsive lighting, personal screens
“We got lights from Amsterdam, and a team from Spain to design and program the lighting in the club," says Tandon. "Sixteen million LED lights change color according to the music or human behavior like clapping."
"We have personalized LED screens at two big tables (Den 1 and Den 2)," Tandon adds. "If it's your birthday or you're getting married we'll write 'Rajiv, I love you' on it if you want! We've stopped announcements via the DJ console, that gets annoying. Let it be classy and let guests feel privileged."
4. International music
International club music is what Tandon believes his patrons want. "House and hip-hop, electronic, progressive house. No Bollywood. If you play Bollywood you tend to get a lot of riffraff."
Entry at Tryst is Rs 2,000 a couple, redeemable on beverages and food. Yearly membership costs Rs 1 lakh or Rs 2 lakh depending on the category.
462 Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel; +91 (0) 22 66614365/6; www.trystmumbai.com