Let the Teddy Boys, dapper dandies groove in zoot suits and tapered pants without any ‘Tamasha’! Exactly what the maverick, Priyank Sukhija claims “a behavioral change has resulted in the evolved party culture in Delhi. “In the longest time now, I haven’t had a stroke of bad luck at any of my restaurants. People are exposed to adoration, are well travelled and thus have opened out. Earlier I would have 10 bouncers for 200 people at RPM, and now we have 2 bouncers for 800 people at, say, LOD”.
Thanks to the big wigs of restaurant business, especially the nonconformist Priyank, for being responsible for such a change. Right from opening RPM, Delhi’s first dynamic nightclub-bar to giving us numerous places now like Lights Camera Action, Warehouse Café, Hybrid, Fork You, Boom Box Café, Out of the Box, Boulevard, Lazeez Affaire, the Flying Saucer, Raas, The Project and very soon Tamasha And Teddy Boy, Priyank has given the Party enthusiasts and food connoisseurs a reason to be out till wee hours, Experience global food, innovative drinks and high-octane nightlife like never before. From a melange of restaurants under his gargantuan banner, Priyank is on a roll.
As I meet this charming, puissant man, I realize there ain’t anything condescending about this proverbial whale. Yes, he’s the talk of the town as he owns almost more than 15 restaurants in Delhi – most of the times you wouldn’t even realize you eating at his Restaurant unless you put two and two together or pin your faith to your taste goblet – but, the success hasn’t made him a bad boy – he doesn’t party too much, sleeps at 11, relishes rajma chawal and meets all with a happy demeanor.
At The Project, erstwhile Park Baluchi, Priyank holds his tipple in winter swag. He called it the Project as it became a task to acquire and achieve it. Interesting! This massive nature’s paradise, sprawling across the serene deer park, is a luxury for Delhi. Luxuriating is such ambrosial space amidst lush green is beautiful specially in winters. Citing the USP of this place, Priyank says “first the space and then the food”. Known for his impassioned knack of doing up his space aesthetically and designing it, he sketches out each of his restaurant thematically. From the majestic overtones of Lord of the Drinks, to scenic serenity of The Project and tasteful classiness of the Lutyens Cocktail House, he dons the designer’s hat pretty well. “Half your battle is won if your place is designed well. For instance, everything in Tamasha is done by me. Everything is a Tamasha there. Washrooms have been designed a certain way – two sets of them, one is inside a wooden droplet and the other inside a container. We have created a whole bar inside the Optimus Prime”.
He then talks about his upcoming venture – Teddy Boy – reflective of the Edwardian Era.
“I was really drawn to the Teddy Boys from the ear who are the original punk stars. We’ve created an Edwardian Bar, food is mainly western and it’s again about the space”.
“Location and marketing does the trick – that gets people in but to get them back, the food should be good”, claims the genial savant. Most of his restaurants boast of global cuisines and The Project is no different – the food is comfort food undergone metamorphosis. The Peri Peri Chicken Pizza is a must try. Spicy and succulent chicken pieces well doused in peri peri will make your crave for more. The signature Red & Black burgers are a highlight – non-greasy, spicy mutton patty fills up the gap, sumptuously. It’s quite unique and delicious. There is an impressive menu waiting to be savored here.
And Does the workaholic restauranteur party at his restaurants when he wants to dilly-dally?
Priyank: I never party at my places because I land up supervising things. I usually party out of the country. I take 8 to 10 vacations a year and chill at exciting and exotic locations.