Reaching for Record highs!

Reaching for Record highs! Pix: Shamanth Patil, Vasudhaa Narayanan, Vinayak Grover & Saina Jaypal.

At a time when micro-breweries, taprooms and bars are mushrooming across cityscapes, every watering hole worth its salt (errr beer!) vies with each other to stand up and be counted.

The Record Room, with its unique theme and branding, strategic location in a tony area of Bengaluru, and funky interiors seem to have nailed it to perfection. Its patrons leave the place feeling high – not just from the great craft beers but from the amazing aura and ambience of the place.

The brainchild of Nakul Bhonsle, Akshar Halgali and Karthik Chandrasekaran, the place bridges their shared passions – records, vinyl, craft beer – into business. Nakul is also the founder of Great State Aleworks, a craft brewery based in Pune; while Akshar and Karthik are co-founders of Uru BrewPark in Bengaluru.

Record Room could not have existed at any other time. It is a symbol of today’s ‘counter culture’, according to architect and designer, George Attokaran of Atto Atelier.

Perforated birch wood panels form a subtle backdrop for the vinyl display that takes centre stage. In a quiet corner, there is a listening station for the serious audiophile or the curious newbie.

The subtle palette of birch, textured grey walls and jet-black ceilings are playfully juxtaposed against terrazzo table tops and colourful vinyl. Mellow lighting animates each of these simple materials, as large tropical plants soften the space.

A monumental DIY-style chandelier that extends through the semi-outdoor deck – resembling a wooden scaffold – covers the table below in its soft yellow canopy, which also functions as an intelligent display for vinyl art, adding a burst of colour that is visible from the streets outside.

What’s vinyl?

At a time when the rather ubiquitous digital music is taking over the sound space, it is heartening to see that analogue music, which was once considered as being on its way out, has staged a comeback and is carving a niche for itself in the hearts of discerning musicians.

For the record (pun intended!) the last 2 years saw an increase of over 30% in vinyl sales – a significant jump, according to data published by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Tapping into this resurgence, Record Room has positioned itself as a space rooted in a love for vinyl records and craft beers. In the age of digitally streamed music, it is the perfect place to experience the joys of vinyl records, where one can listen to favourite tracks and be immersed in the world of analogue music.

A unique bar tailored equally for the connoisseur and the curious, Record Room has over 200 vinyls across genres, ranging from classic rock (Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin), to old-school hip-hop (Tupac Shakur, Dr Dre), pop (Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift), reggae (Bob Marley, Aswad) to funk (Jamiroquai, Marvin Gaye).

One of the singular highlights of the bar is its limited-edition white turntable dedicated to White Album by the Beatles, given that there are only about 500 of these in the world!

Cocktails too

Record Room showcases several brands of craft beer on tap under one roof. Its repertoire includes Bengaluru favourites, Geist and Toit. The customer is spoiled for choice – to complement this offering are some signature cocktails that include inventive and playful flavour pairings like the Teq-Sour (tequila, ginger, cucumber, orgeat and lime) and the Whiskey Lavender Highball (whiskey, lavender essence and Bianco topped with a splash of soda).

Interestingly, the cocktails feature only natural sweeteners like fig sauce and wildflower honey. Also on offer are an extensive selection of wines, alongside a selection of classic cocktails, sangrias and Bellinis.

The food menu has been curated to complement the selection of craft beers. And to end it all, a selection of desserts, from Profiteroles to Coffee Panna Cotta and classic Churros paired with coffee… Definitely a place that will go places!