1. Black And White – The Residency (T Nagar)
Definitely a great budget choice in Resto-Bars in the city, this is a popular place because of its location. There is proper lighting and a long bar table where you can sit along with others. There are LCD monitors all across the place, and you can catch all the action whilst sipping your favourite cocktails and liquors. There is also a very small dance floor, just in case you feel like letting your hair down. They have an in-house DJ who plays decent hip-hop and commercial music.
2. Leather Bar – The Park (Numbambakkam)
Leather Bar is done up completely in leather and chrome. It is minimalist in decor and for the uninitiated this part of The Park gave a whole new meaning to the minimalist movement. A few carefully selected strategically placed pieces of art interest decorate The Leather Bar, while keeping it clutter free, quite unlike what one would expect from a bar in Chennai. They have a DJ who plays head shaking live beats.
3. 10 Downing Street (T Nagar)
Set on the ground floor of an old style boutique hotel building, the place attracts customers right through the day. Once you get past the foyer, the room at the left converts into an action-packed dance floor at night, again with a karaoke screen that slides down at one side. The place plays host to Ladies’ Night on Wednesday and Karaoke Nights on Thursdays. The bar is diagonally across the place from this suitably cramped area, opposite a connecting hall with checkerboard pattern of black and white floor tiles.
4. The Flying Elephant (Guindy)
Decore is Dramatically unique. Its wood, glass, leather and red interiors grab attention right from the moment you step in. Spread over seven levels, it has The Living Lounge, The Bar or Den, The Library, The Kitchen, Dining Section, Wood Fire Place and Bedroom: the restaurant’s private dining area. The lowest level turns into a dance floor over the weekend, and is easily the loudest floor, DJs, guest or otherwise, ramp up the beat with Bollywood and commercial sounds.
5. Illusions The Madras Pub (Mylapore)
A spacious pub, Illusions sucks you into its intense darkness. Maybe it makes people drink more. Retro nights on Mondays, Ladies nights on Wednesdays, when the women get free domestic liquor from 8 pm to 10 pm. You could rock the night away at Illusions – The Madras Pub burning those calories, right from trekking up the stairs that take you into its dark depths. Then, if you have the time, notice the interesting images of Madras during its overgrown village days. Seating is comfortable yet utilitarian. Nice height tables in a good size offer enough elbow room and space to enjoy your food and beverages.
6. The Moon And Sixpence (Guindy)
Going by the designs of the place, it’s old school with high chairs and teak wooden tables. Wooden flooring, dividers with painted glass, sleek bar counter. They play the 80s on repeat. Plays some good music and Live Bands also plays music daily. This is a warm and cozy place to grab a beer with friends. Go and get the feeling of being in an English pub.
7. Durrant’s Bar (Cathedral Road)
Durrant’s Bar has firmly retained its aristocratic gentleman’s bar charm. This is a bar for long conversations over malts or hops. Lovely wooden floors and furniture greet you, with comfortable wooden sofas and chairs. Even the wall panels are of wonderfully veneered wood, giving a British bar experience. The most unique aspect is the absence of music, and the opportunity of having a good discussion with friends over a couple of drinks.
8. Sera – The Tapas Bar (Cathedral Road)
A total hangout place for the young and the happening, ‘Zaras’ as they call it has been a hit every since it first opened its doors. The music is loud, and picks up tempo as evening turns to night, and the DJ gets into the mood. No dance floor, but people are free to dance in the aisles. Wednesdays are ladies nights: buy one, get one free. Each day of the week has special music.
9. Getsby 2000 (Alwarpet)
Occupying the pride of place in Chennai due to its size and the kind of music its in-house DJs churn out night after night, Gatsby 2000 is packed every evening. Feet get tapping, heads nodding and hands swaying on auto pilot. Nobody’s listening to them, least of all Gatsby 2000’s manager, whose word is the law. He gently but firmly shakes his head in the negative if no ID proof is produced. You will see female bouncers in strategic locations to deal with the lady rowdies in the crowd, and some nights can be really busy. Entry is for couples only, girls. However, go in for free.
10. 365AS (Teynampet)
365 Anna Salai, done up in brown and wood, it has little elements of colour in the form of tiny cars and trucks sitting quietly in their display places. Interesting cylindrical lights hang from the ceiling and you have enough time to admire your surroundings and listen in on conversations at other tables. The music played here is trance/electro with a bit of other genres as well.
11. Secret Society Bar (Raja Annamalai Puram)
Secret society gives you a theme more like American revolution with the set up being made in an underground secret tunnel with gas lines and others. Their theme is interesting and been put neatly. They also serve drinks as it’s a restobar. The pleasant musics and Live Dj, great food, fine ambience and friendly servers adds up to it. Also it’s a great place for partying for those who prefer a less crowded place.
12. Based On A True Story (Besant Nagar)
Boats has a fun shack-ey vibe on weekdays and there’s plenty of options to seat from: single-seater booths, grunge corners, lounge sofas and a communal table. If you are after a sea-view, then visit during daylight hours. There’s not much to see through the tinted window at night. Provides Live Music for old english song lovers.