In an exclusive chat with Restaurant India, Bunty Arora, MD, Doppio Bar & Brasserie unveils how Doppio was incepted.
Doppio was incepted whilst my travel to London, I loved how the British maintained their architecture. As industrial was the coolest thing to do in India, I felt there was a need for a classy, elegant and warm place. With an influx of bars opening in Mumbai, reasonable alcohol wasn’t a selling point anymore. Everyone was serving reasonable liquor and beer. I felt the need for a comfortable and quiet place where people could spend hours chatting with their friends or family, which is difficult to find in Mumbai.
Doppio is all about comfort, warmth, coffee and conversations. I decided to blend espresso in alcohol, of course there’s the famous Espresso martini, but that was my start point. If we got that with the right espresso shot and a mix of house blended café liquor, which was incepted during the making of the Doppio cocktails, we would proceed with further combinations. We serve a global food menu inspired by many cultures and cuisines from all over the world. We like to call it a “fun” dining experience.
How was the response so far?
The response has been really overwhelming, I’m glad people have accepted this format and liking the new chill vibe instead of the hectic bars and nightclubs. Espresso martini, creamed caramel, smoked espresso, which is made with Talisker (single malt) and the monks press using the good Indian Old monk have been real crowd pleasers. We’re happy that people are coming for dinner and continue to spend their time at the bar after their meal. I was surprised to see a couple for six days in a row walking into Doppio at 8pm and leave at 1am.
What are the types of cuisines served at your restaurant?
Doppio’s food is inspired from cultures and cuisines across the world. There is Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, Sri Lankan, French, Indian, American and other food inspired from various parts of the world. I intend to keep the menu fresh and add more dishes into it. Hence, Doppio’s food menu is simple and our chef prepares dishes, once we chalk out the final menu.
What are the design elements you kept in mind while designing the restaurant?
Whilst I was working on the concept with my architect, I had one thing in my mind that this place has to be warm and people should feel like they are in their living room. Hence, you will see two living setup’s with a personal bar cabinet, coffee table, side table, lamps, armchairs, pillows and throws. Then, there are my travel elements on a book shelf where you would see an antique compass, old telescopes, books, maps and other elements related to travel. .
What are the challenges you came across initially?
Being a restaurateur, one has to face many challenges; there is project cost, timelines, concept creation, food and beverage quality etc. It’s like an examination, all depends on your preparation and the results/reviews are given by the customers.
According to you what are the top trends that will drive the industry in 2016?
Technology is something which has taken over the F&B industry by storm. Apps are launched every day, giving numerous options to the users. . Online order, restaurant review, guest lists, table bookings and many more are coming up.
What is your expansion plan?
Well, Doppio is a new born baby; it’s growing at the moment. I want to focus on things, which make Doppio special. Investors are always there and I believe huge amount of funding is going around in this industry. I’m not in a hurry to expand, I’m sure we would want to take it further with Doppio and its products. But, right now we are making our own Coffee Liqueur, which I’m looking to start soon.
Tell us about your journey until you opened this restaurant?
This journey has been a roller coaster ride, who knew a DJ would turn into a fully fledged entrepreneur, talking numbers and tasting food. Having an official 13 track album produced on universal music to nightclubs and restaurants, I didn’t plan this for myself. I always wanted to be a performing artist. I’ve constantly been learning about this industry from day one I stepped in. From a promoter, to starting a nightclub venture taught me a lot of business sense. It’s always a synergy of right people you meet in your life that decide your career. So, it’s been a fun, interesting and exploring journey for me.