Review : Hauz Khas Social
The Startup/Freelance culture has its own advantages and problems. While flexible hours are easy to get used to, it’s a pain to spend hours feeding off free wi-fi at various cafes. Sitting for hours in uncomfortable chairs, scouring for the cheapest dishes on the menu and getting blacklisted by waiters as a freeloader can be a pain. Even if you do find a suitable (most likely overpriced) place to rent, the lack of interaction with employees/colleagues can be demotivating.
Here’s where Hauz Khas Social, a brand new concept bar comes to the rescue.
For some, this would be yet another addition to the overcrowded Hauz Khas Village. But for many, it might become their second home. At least that’s what Impresario, the brain company behind the venture, is hoping for. With this restaurant, they’re starting the ‘Second Place’ trend. A new zone where you can both work and play. They give you an option of an exclusive membership costing Rs 5,000 per month, which will privy you to their office services (printer, stationary, conference room etc.) Best part? The entire amount you pay is redeemable through the month in exchange for food and drinks.
After a super successful opening in Bangalore, Social is now taking its chance with Delhi. With every new opening, there is always the initial hype. They claim that everything from food, décor, drinks and concept is far left of the center. But once the buzz lulls, does this place have what it takes to stick around? Trend Police breaks it down and lists out its pros and cons.
A comfortable space where they encourage you to spend hours and work?
Honestly, they had us at free wi-fi. Hauz Khas Social offers everything you might need in an office, such as a boardroom, conference room, and printing services. Thankfully, they skipped on fluorescent lights and the constricting cubicles. Instead they have communal tables meant for ‘casual collisions’. Encouraging freelancers to meet, interact and collaborate. This very same space can also be used to hang out with some insane food and strong cocktails. To us, it seems like a fool-proof idea.
After getting an insight from Riyaaz Amlani, the CEO of Impresario, about the thought behind the idea, we think they’ve executed it to perfection. There is no denying the fact that this place is one-of-a-kind and will be welcomed in a city like Delhi. As much as the young love to have fun, they also want to work hard. Hauz Khas Social might become that much-needed space for creative souls to work, hang out and interact.
The folks at Social have managed to score themselves an excellent location. The deceptive dark alley entrance opens up into a high ceilinged space, with tall French windows overlooking a gorgeous view of the Hauz Khas Village lake. If you’d like a picturesque view when you park yourself in front of your laptop for hours, this is the only place we would recommend in Delhi.
At the first look, the interiors are a mix of rustic and quirky. They have an assortment of furniture, colourful cushions, and old-school lampshades. The communal tables have sufficient plug points for our perpetually battery deprived gadgets.
It takes a while before the smaller details are noticed. The unfinished red brick walls, skeletal table clamp lights and the liberal use of hashtag prints work well together. During the daytime or during “working hours”, they make sure the ambient music is light and slow. However, unless you decide to take up the space exclusively dedicated for the workforce, expect more than just a low chatter around.
Food and Drinks
Hauz Khas Social opens at 10am and after the work day ends the place converts into a pulsing bar. Post 6pm the music turns up, laptops are stored away and a round of cocktails can be ordered. Keeping this in mind, they’ve built an extensive menu. Unrestricted to a particular cuisine, they have it all; an all-day breakfast (Blueberry pancakes, anyone?), light lunch (we’d recommend the smoked BBQ Sandwich) and a dinner spread. We are especially intrigued by the way they’ve named their dishes. We decided this section needed its own in-depth analysis. Check our full review of the food and drinks on Eat Burp Repeat.
Value for Money
Since we’re meant to spend all day (and night) at Social, we’re happy to announce that they’ve priced their menu fairly. The numbers are (slightly) lower than the usual. The most expensive dish will set you back five hundred bucks and you can enjoy a beer for ninety rupees. We doubt even the young and broke, who are just starting out, would have any complaints. Hopefully, these aren’t introductory prices.
Other than the food and drinks, the space being offered should be taken into account. If you’re planning on setting up shop, investing (the redeemable) Rs 5,000 per month isn’t much. This would be far wiser choice than hunting for a dingy room to rent in Delhi.
Overall, we’d recommend this place to anyone who is looking to set up their first workspace. Not only have they made a work-friendly zone, they’ve also created an easygoing bar where we can hideaway from the bustle of the city. Since it just started a week back, we expect there will be a few hiccups along the way. Once they smoothen out their unreliable Wi-Fi, Hauz Khas Social is here to stay. They’ve managed to create a unique energy with like-minded people coming together to work hard, play hard.
Check out our video review of Hauz Khas Social:
- Amazing view
- Super cool concept
- Interesting interiors
- Delicious food and cocktails
- Teething issues
- Unreliable wi-fi
- Slow service