Route 04, located in CP, Khan Market and Cyber City, isn't exactly a lounge or a restaurant. If anything, the closest word to define the kind of place it is, would be to call it a pub. However, I’d like to go a step further, and call it a personal living room for everyone who is sitting there - a mashup of personal spaces of sorts. This is a place which would be brimming with regulars on weekdays- mostly, with people in their formals grabbing drinks with colleagues; friends post work, or college go-ers who are looking for a change from the relatively cheap alcohol joints.

Although it has a decent food menu, Route 04 is majorly a drinking place with happy hours lasting from 4pm to 10pm (50% off on all drinks) on an already decently priced beverage list. The ambience here is very laid back (refer to the living room analogy) and the music has never disappointed me - they generally lean toward rock (with popular numbers thrown in frequently.) The Khan and CP outlets are spread over two floors - the lower floors are no-smoking, no-hookah zones (isn’t all of Delhi?); they’re well lit and have more of a lets-sit-comfortably-but-with-decorum feel to them - ideal if you are here for a meal (really? why are you here for a meal? go to Big Chill if you’re in Khan, Gulati’s if you’re in CP or Chilli’s if you’re in Cyber City) or, if you are part of a group of people who don’t know each other too well yet. The upper floors are where it all goes crazy - the lighting is comfortably dim, the seating arrangement is very casual, hookah is served, smoking is allowed (go figure), the music is louder, the people get crazier, and the conversations are philosophical and topsy-turvy due to overcompensation by buzzing minds.

As is very apparent, this place revolves around the new-age “drinking-isn’t-only-for-the-weekend” culture. Do not expect to be served exotic drinks here. However, you will never be disappointed, because they serve more than just the basic staples. They have imported draught beer, which isn’t very common in Delhi, and they serve Stella which isn't very common either. Their range of scotch, bourbons and vodka covers everyone from the paltry college goer to the newly promoted 9-to-5er, and, well - good rum is always cheap anyway (any place which is selling you expensive old monk is ripping you off). For those looking to get their crazy on - they always have jagerbombs - ALWAYS, and also serve the run-of-the-mill B52, tequila, and Kamikaze kind of shooters. The servers are kind enough to give you a heads up at the fag end of happy hours (around 9:55pm). This is your cue to stack up for supplies if you're planning to stay till 1 am (music off and lights on at 12:30, you're asked to leave at 1), as any regular would tell you.

Their food menu is extensive, however finger food is the most popular as it goes best in this kind of setting. The Rancher’s nachos are excellent, and they don’t skimp on the cheese or veggies/chicken. This is also one of the very few places where the Cajun fried mozzarella cheese sticks are crisp on the outside, molten-to-stretchable perfection on the inside and don’t leave an after-taste of bad oil. The loaded potato bases are a favorite with the vegetarians. You are advised to stay away from the chicken skewers, and also warned that they have no idea how to make a tenderloin steak. The pastas are average and the tex-mex page is worth a shot.

All in all, this is a decent place to head to if you feel like you’ve had a long day. There are ample choices for teetotalers, dipsomaniacs, gluttons, as well as your average Joe. It would be best to book ahead on weekends, otherwise there is generally a 15-20 minute wait. Sharing some snacks plus a couple of drinks will set you back INR 500-600. 4k gets you plastered and very full. Don't drink and drive.

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