How the capital’s newest LGBTQ-friendly martini bar is changing the dating scene
As soon as you go through the glass door of PDA (short for PCO-Diva Agenzia, a joint venture between Rakshay Dhariwal of PCO fame and superchef Ritu Dalmia), you see a red-and-pink equality sign on the wall on your right. Looking out from the glass front of the bar, the words ‘we celebrate love’ are painted outside, with ‘love’ done in rainbow hues. This is the only overt indication any customer has that PDA, situated on the ground floor of GK1’s legendary Diva restaurant, is an openly LGBTQ-friendly bar.
But in a deeper sense, the very fact that an upscale bar in a market that attracts mostly a family crowd, is revolutionary. The very subtlety of PDA’s allegiance to sexual equality makes it a success; it’s easy to imagine that a more brash outing could have backfired. The message is: you don’t need to be gay to go into PDA, but if you are, nothing changes. Everyone is equal in love.
So now, in the evenings, you see couples—men and women, women and women, and men and men—hanging out over delectable cocktails (I recommend the classic Old Fashioned that the bartender, Vikas, mastered at A Ta Maison in Sunder Nagar, another of Dhariwal’s successful ventures) and the small plates that accompany them. The provolone wrapped in slivers of green apples is mindblowing.
What’s more mindblowing, though, is that this is the first partnership of its kind between two companies in the highly competitive F&B space. The concept is so simple that you wonder why more people haven't done it before. Dhariwal’s team brings their long-held expertise in creating cocktails to the mix, while Dalmia’s Diva provides the food. What’s not to love?
The prices, expectedly, are a little on the steep side, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring this cosy space. Making a reservation is recommended, but there’s always space at the bar where you can see Vikas concoct your cocktails with exacting precision.
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