Channel [V]’s Spot Cafe+Bar comes equipped with iPads in the restrooms and gaming zones. There’s food and drink as well.
This is not just any other café which serves coffee, liquor and food. An iPad on the “bloody-cool wall” at the entrance displays the menu; gizmo freaks can play “[V]ictionary”, a technology-friendly version of Pictionary (a guessing word game); and the waiting area in front of the washroom has a video booth. This is the [V] Spot Café + Bar that opened recently in Delhi at the District Centre in Saket.
A music channel starting a café? Channel [V] head, Prem Kamath, says, “Consumers spend only 20 per cent of their time watching TV, the rest 80 per cent is spent at malls and other hang-outs.”
Each element in the café has been inspired by various themes associated with Channel [V]. For people waiting outside the restroom, there’s another iPad, where one can record a 10-second gig, jingle or dialogue, which will be aired on the show, V Spot Cafe (one of three new shows that the channel will start airing soon). The walls of the cafe are covered with caricatures of Channel [V] mascots and murals such as the Sikh teacher “Simpu Singh”, the “Bai” and the “Bhai”.
The Channel [V] brand of humour makes it to the menu as well, which lists delicacies such as Thai Kwon Do; Strip Tease (a chicken dish); Bhutta Singh (yes, using corn); Jhinga Jhingy, etc. Drinks have funky names such as Son of a Peach, RumSay Brothers, Marg Mein Rita and the bar is called “Tully Vision” (the cabinets are designed like TV sets). There is a hookah joint too outside the cafe, and a gaming device where games can be played on a touch-screen TV.
Technopak, the retail consultancy, developed the business model of the café while Idea Spice, an international brand consultancy, did the decor. Idea Spice Director Saurav Roy details some aspects of the café that took five months to design. “The menu card is designed to look like a TV screen. Also, it’s got scribbled stuff on the menu, so if visitors flip through the menu they can spot personal comments overwritten on the dishes.” The table (the napkin has instructions on how to use it), place mats and the floor portray the channel logo. “We converted the Technopak research into a physical space to depict the ‘quirkiness’ of the characters that Channel [V] has,” Roy explains.
The channel says it now wants to offer end-to-end entertainment. “We want to turn [V] Spot into a real platform,” says Kamath. Singers and stand-up comedians can perform at “Open Mike”, and the deserving acts will be packaged and aired on the channel in a half-hour show, [V] Spot. The channel wants to help budding bands launch their music labels and will offer them free on-air coverage, adds Kamath. Besides mall and online activations, there will be two consecutive concerts in mid-June.
But why did Channel[V] choose Delhi? It relied on an industry research that says TV viewership in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and nearby regions is 25-30 per cent higher than the rest of the country. The café’s target is the age group between 15 and 24 years, and with a meal for two here priced at Rs 800 (prices are 20 per cent less than other cafes) — affordable for the youngsters in these parts — the channel hopes to do well. There are plans to open 30 such cafes across 10 to 12 cities in the next three years, Kamath says. But owing to the high operational costs in metros, the upcoming Channel [V] Spot Cafes will be in smaller cities like Chandigarh, Indore and Lucknow, says Kamath.