A little over a month ago, Church Street Social introduced their new avatar to the patrons of Bengaluru. Taking a step in a new direction, Church Street Social 2.0 have moved away from the ‘still’ popular industrial finish with exposed brick wall to a venue that embraces art. The ARTlet, as it has been christened will now be a venue that also curates monthly exhibitions and workshops that promote upcoming artists in the field of fine arts, visual art, sculpture and more. I’m going to quite honest here and say that while I love the vibe of the new place, there’s a lot more colour and that cheers me up a lot more than exposed brick wall, I’m still quite the philistine when it comes to modern art. I tend to leave my opinions to simpler binary choices of ‘ I like this’ or ‘ I don’ t know what this is’.
Nevertheless, the vibrancy of the venue with more colour and art gives Church Street Social a vibe not seen at other locations. Installations from artists like Shilo Shiv Suleman, Siddhartha Karawal, Lekha Washington, Hanisha Tiralumalashetty, Laila Vaziralli, Dead The Duck, Sagarika Sundaram ( I know two names amongst this… not too bad for a fine arts philistine eh?) are currently on display. You can’t miss the rather larger dervish dancer piece as you enter. It freaks me out just a tad bit, but then, don’t take my word when it comes to fine art.
Accompanying the new artwork, Church Street Social introduced a new range of cocktails that focus on fruit. Targeted at the ‘elder millennial’, these cocktails focus on blending the flavour of natural fruits with liquor, as opposed to being a potent mix that ensures the rest of the evening is a blur. However, even for those looking to pretty much make that ‘one drink for the evening’ count, the offer the Bamboozle Yourself (a combination of dark and white rum with freshly squeezed orange juice, served in a bamboo shell) which packs quite the punch.
My favourite however was the Jack(son) Juice. This drink combines whisky with the seasonal jackfruit, a combination I have never quite tasted before. While one might find this to be a bit higher on the sweet quotient, I thoroughly enjoyed this drink. Your opinion on this will be completely based on whether you like jackfruit or not. While this won’t be retained in the permanent menu, another favourite of mine that will remain is the Vantablack. Made using Black Grapes and Mint Leaves, this cocktail is for those who enjoy grapes as a flavor which balances out perfectly with the booze.
The slightly more elaborate and ambitious cocktail was the ‘Pine So Fine’. Served in a large chunk of pineapple, this dark-rum based cream on top is the highlight of the drink. More like a dinner cocktail to me, I’d hapilly polish off just the cream with a simple chocolate brownie. The Vitamin G(in) is a slightly more elaborate cocktail that’s served in jar that’s escaped the bars of a chemistry lab. I’m not a big fan of overly sweet cocktails hence this drink with strong flavours of coconut and lemon isn’t something that would make me go back for more. The CAMatka, a custard apple Margarita served in a matka, which will also feature on the regular menu is something I’m yet to make up my mind about.
Put together by Jones Elish J, the main man behind Social’s bars in Bengaluru, and awarded ‘Best Bartender of the Year, South, 2017’ by India Nightlife Convention Awards, the festival with all these fruit-based cocktails is on till 30th August at Church Street Social only. The cocktails begin at INR 300.