Back in the sixties, it was the hippies who discovered Goa. They showcased it to the world as a small little piece of utopia on the globe. While the Goan shores have over the years continued to attract tourists and revellers, there has been however a strategic shift in the coastal state’s USP. The shift from the sedated tranquillity of calm, lonely shores to the steady thumping electric din, from the well manicured interiors of modern day oases.
Most of Goa’s famed nightspots hug the North Goa shoreline. The stretch of shore from the Baga beach to Sinquerim has a heavy density of nightspots, including some of the best names in business.
To begin with Club Tito’s . Until the early part of this millennium, Club Tito’s was the undisputed Hercules of the coastal nightspots. This was the place which was a permanent feature on the itinerary of the hordes of weekend party-goers, a lot of whom streamed from Mumbai. Club Tito’s which first hit the popularity charts as a chilled out hippie joint in the early seventies, had metamorphosed into a pulsating joint, where celebrities hung out in numbers, like mangoes on a bough in the summer. To get to Tito’s all you need to do is follow the road that leads from Calangute to Baga and keep looking left for a signboard to heaven.
Across the road from Club Tito’s, is the equally popular sister concern Café Mambo’s , which as an open air ambience, in contrast to the cavernous interiors of Club Tito’s.
Located along the picturesque Baga river, lies another classy nightspot, which goes by the name of Club Cavala . Club Cavala, which has emerged over the last few years as a snazzy joint with live jazz music or performances by local music groups. Unlike the former two hot spots, where the ambience alone is king, Club Cavala has a few delightful show stoppers, when it comes to the menu. There’s the delectable shrimp cocktail, if you have a weakness for seafood. Club Cavala’s lamb croquettes are virtual divinity, when they are rolled in breadcrumbs and dipped in a tangy sauce before downing them.
One of the newest joints which has been creating quite the buzz around town of late is the Butter Lounge, which has been the flavour of the season for the last few seasons now.
Malini Ramani’s Congo Restaurant and Lounge is a niche nightclub, which has its regular share of celebrities dropping in courtesy Malini. This nightspot is open only during the tourist season.
Away from Calangute and into the comfort-filled interiors of the Goa Marriot in Panaji is Ozone, a popular disc, which has a high turnover of folks during weekends, irrespective of the season.
Just near the stone humpback bridge near the old quarter of Panaji is the newly started pub Down the Road. A neat single storied structure, which has been fashioned out in a restored Goan villa overlooking the picturesque Patto creek.
The coastal stretch in North Goa is also a great place to appreciate trance music in all its glory. Trance lovers have several nightspots to choose from. There’s the Paradiso Club , which is located under a cliff, facing the Arabian sea, which is considered the high altar of trance in recent times. Then there’s the legendary Shore Bar and Nine Bar , also at Anjuna beach which till recently were the only few places which played trance music regularly.
Club West End located in Saligao, a village adjoining Calangute has also evolved as a major partying destination with uninterrupted performance every season, which at time run into days at end.