Play-ing perfect host

Amol Gokhale
Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mohit Takalkar, who along his team recently opened Barometer in Kothrud, says that directing a play is akin to running a full-fledged restaurant

Mohit Takalkar and his team went through rigorous seven-day grand-rehearsals. But they were not rehearsing for a play as one would presume knowing his strong theatre background. Mohit and his team were, in fact, rehearsing for the grand opening of his restaurant Barometer which recently started operations and has received a tremendous response.  

The 40-year-old director, who is renowned for his plays like Tu, Gajab Kahani, Main Hun Yusuf Aur Ye Hai Mera Bhai, to name a few, opened his heart about how directing a play and running a full-fledged restaurant is similar.

“The process is very similar to that of a production of a play or a film. We give our everything for two months during rehearsals, and slowly we create it, which is very exciting,” he said adding, “So now when there’s a smile on people’s faces when they enjoy the food at Barometer, we enjoy it as well. But there was an eight-month long process behind it where we paid attention to every detail.”

Just like grand rehearsals of their plays, they had seven days of rehearsals where the restaurant was fully functioning (although, not open to the public). “And just like we open the play when everything is ready, we opened the restaurant,” said Mohit about the place which opened a couple of weeks ago.

Many people do not know that Mohit has a degree from Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Mumbai. So what brought back him to the hospitality business after taking a degree in it almost 20 years ago? He said that the lack of options he and his friends had while following their keto diet prompted them to open Barometer.

“Me, Ashish (Mehta) and Nachiket (Chidgopkar) follow a keto diet, and we always struggled to find good restaurants which would serve food suitable for our diet. And it’s not feasible to go to Koregaon Park or Baner every single time, so Nachiket came up with this idea of opening a restaurant in this area,” Mohit said about how and why Barometer was opened in Kothrud.

A passionate team
What drives the Barometer team forward is pure passion. “Rather than taking franchise of established brands we decided to start our own venture. So Nachiket’s brother Mandar joined in and our friends Atul and Pushkar Pendse and Gaurav Bapat too came on board,” Mohit said about his partners.

What sets apart Barometer from other restaurants is their menu. Three different menus — Breakfast, All Day, and Lunch and Dinner — designed by Ajit Kalbag offer a whopping 210 dishes to satisfy the taste buds, along with signature drinks made by Pankaj Kamble and Ashish Ashtewale.

Although Mohit spends hours at the restaurant, he is equally focussed on his editing work and his new play Mathemagician which is all set to open on November 11 at Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai.

For all your cravings
To put things into perspective, Barometer is a place where one can enjoy good food and drinks and good music in great company, and the place does have good vibes as Mohit and his team make sure that guests don’t leave without a smile on their faces. And they will find every reason to smile because if they fancy Maharashtrian breakfast staple Thalipeeth or an Omelette, Barometer will dish it out for them. The menu is designed in such a way that it will satisfy everyone’s taste buds as the place has dishes as varied as Bun Maska, Khari, Pohe (Prawn Pohe too), Burritos and so on.

Mohit also plans to invite one or two homebakers each month to have their desserts and bakery items at the place, apart from the exclusive keto diet-friendly menu starting next month.

Check it out
- A Barometer welcomes you at the entrance, which tells about the history of the device and the vibe of the place, which can accommodate 80 people at a time.
- Charlie Chaplin welcomes you at the entrance with small films of Chaplin projected on the wall.
- Interesting quotes by various thinkers and philosophers on your beermat so that you can take away the memory of your drink.
- Every table has its own number, for example, 2712. Those are the birth dates of people who have worked to create Barometer like the chief electrician who got all the wiring done.
- Beer brewing process painted on the ground outside Barometer.

Barometer, Chintaman Pride, CityPride Road, Kothrud. Open from 7.30 am-11.30 pm

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