Sealdah station is a strange place. It’s home to a few hundred human being, plus over a million people walks through it each day. And by the common business sense, numerous businesses have come up surrounding the station area. But if someone is looking for a bar around the Sealdah station, age-old Grand Tower Bar is there. More than the booze, it serves as an adda zone for the daily commuters. And this story talks about it.
Tower Bar is located in the dingy lane below the Sealdah flyover. And needless to mention, the area is inaccessible via car or even two-wheeler. The best option is to park your vehicle at the Seladah station parking lot and walk for around 3-4 min to reach the place. The location can be checked on Google map here. Please understand something, guests here are from regular passengers commuting via local trains and hence, is not generally looking for a parking spot.
Tower Bar is a typical old north-Kolkata house. Yes, with those large windows, and
The seating is pretty regular. Old marble top tables and plastic chairs. Do not expect an AC in the Tower Hotel, or any hotel like this, in that matter. But what you can expect, is a good service. the place runs on a pre-paid service, much like the Chhota Bristol or shaws Bar. One primary reason might be the assurance of payment after someone is high enough. But, the system is efficient. I’m not sure whether they entertain cards here, but definitely, cash is preferred. And apart from a few homely, loving fellow drunkards, what you can definitely expect, is the house cat to give you company.
Booze at last
The booze at Tower Bar is cheap. Tuborg Beer is sold at 200/- for the 650 ml bottle. And as I said, the amount is collected in advance. Service is flawless and fast. The complementary place of
Expectations of the waiters are not really high here. Around 10-15/- each order is good to make them happy. And that results in a larger piece of meat or extra complimentary snacks. And I must mention something. Till a few years back, soda used to be complementary with whiskey and that was the main attraction for many broke youngsters to come here. But like
The snacks menu at Tower Hotel is pretty simple and waiters are
I must say, the fish fry was pretty good. It was pure Betki slices inside with a heavy dose of minced green chilly. Probably the intention was to help guests manage drinks with lesser snacks. Yes, the crumb was a bit heavy, but then after a few spics, nobody really cared about it. Raw onion is served with almost everything. The chicken fry, on the other hand, was a sheer disappointment. Tasteless quartered chicken pieces deep fried with very little spices. The size was good, no doubt, but taste-wise, I personally didn’t like them much.
The peanut chaat, on the other hand, was good. peanut and bhujia, topped with chopped onion and green chilly- simple and good. My personal trick here is to use the mustard paste or Kasundi, served in abundance. Mix a little with it and voila, it transforms into something magical.
Omelet and Egg Devil was as usual with egg devil being the spoilsport, but a country chicken egg was used luckily for the Devil. The paneer tikka tasted good, but it was fried, rather than bar-be-qued. As usual, onion slices, lemon wedges
But then why to come
By this time, you must have started thinking that if almost all the food items are average, why the hell am I still writing about this place. The reason is simple. After a certain age, booze is rarely used for anything else than an accompaniment to a good
Booze at these types of places is a great social leveler. You do not know whether the person sharing your table is a multi-millionaire or is from the underworld. And that’s the beauty of the Tower Hotel. The conversations are mostly uninhibited and unpretentious. Yesterday, I found myself chatting with someone about the hassles of the local train passengers, while I’ve boarded a local passenger train, maybe a year back.
If you’re looking for a place for unpretentious booze and some nice