Adding an NFT angle to SOCIAL, Hospitality News, ET HospitalityWorld


(L to R) Riyaaz Amlani, founder and MD of Impresario Handmade Restaurants with Mayank Bhatt, his CEO at the BEL Road SOCIAL which launched in Bengaluru on Friday, January 13, 2023.

Impresario Handmade Restaurants launched a new outlet of Social in Bengaluru on Friday—this time with an NFT angle and ET HospitalityWorld caught up with Mayank Bhatt, the CEO of the company, about the launch and their plans with the highly successful SOCIAL brand.

The new BEL Road SOCIAL in Bengaluru was termed as a ‘cybersocial’ in the literature and invite leading up with the launch and we began by asking Bhatt about what was different in this new alliteration of an already popular restaurant vertical.

“The first SOCIAL opened in Bengaluru Church Street in 2014, about nine years ago, and that started out as what we called an ‘artlet’, where young artists could showcase their work. This outlet is a natural evolution from what the ‘artlet’ stood for and our induction into the world of Web3. The first floor of this store is where the NFT art gallery is. To start with we have a collaboration with Angad Sodhi, who is showcasing only 13 to 14 Bengaluru artists to start with,” Bhatt began by saying.

The idea was not only to have a place showcasing the artwork, but also for the Web3 artists to come and connect and interact, he said adding that collaboration was at the heart of every Social—whether it was music, art or culture—what they were doing was adding a natural extension, another layer to this community and getting into the Web3 zone through the NFT art gallery.

On whether other SOCIALs will also change to be more like the new one, Bhatt said, “There will be a lot of learnings with this one after a couple of showcases that we do. Ideally, we would like to integrate it with a couple of old flagship stores and in our stores that are coming in. So that the space is designed in a way that it can be integrated seamlessly.”

Bhatt also clarified that even with the new design and addition of the NFT gallery the outlet stays the same in terms of operations—the floor still functions as in all other stores, the bar remains the same. There continues to be a DJ booth and with nightfall it naturally extends into a high energy bar.

There are currently 38 stores in eight cities and the plan was to add eight more stores in this financial year, with 18 more in the next. They were also adding four more cities when it came to the SOCIAL brand, he added.

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