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For a sip of back-to-school nostalgia

By Bhawana Anand | Vjmedia Works | December 13, 2013

Ludus Café, launched by a bunch of school friends, is a non-portentous place with a back-to-school ambience that caters to the youth and as well as high-end clients. The café is situated at the premium MGF Metropolitan in Saket, New Delhi.

Ludus, which in Latin means'Back to School', has been launched by school fellows to encapsulate the nostalgia of school life and reinvent the city's definition of food and beverages. Their idea was to create a café which is a blend of style, comfort and quality unlike any other. The café is backed by Back-to-School Hospitality and covers an area of 12 thousand sq/feet including the inside and outside area.

"All the four directors of Ludus Cafe have been connected with each other since school days. After finishing our respective careers, we all planned to do something on own and felt that working with friends was the best way to be successful. That is how this came about. Consequently, we decided to set up something which signifies where we come from. While from the marketing view point, the objective was to give varied choices to consumers, there was also the need to raise the bar. There are lots of people who just go to restaurants, look around, sit, order their food, eat and go away. But we wanted to help them go beyond that. The school is a place where friends chill out and that is why we created magazines, boards, games and such so that people can enjoy themselves while sitting here and also have a meaningful time,” explains Nitin Choudhary, MD, Ludus Cafe.  Saket as a location was a strategic and obvious choice given the TG and potential clientele it promises.

The Cafe has been designed keeping in mind the school theme and by the Café directors themselves. Sections such as a VIP area, a library, a cafeteria and an amphitheatre highlight and bring to the fore the whole school imagery. Also, in order to convey a realistic picture of  a typical Indian school, classy and up-market flourishes have been done away with.

The interior manifests a soft balance of metal and wood. The furniture is made scribble proof where clients can leave their messages. The outdoor area of the Cafe is reminiscent of a Greek courtyard with white drapes and wooden bleachers and an amphitheatre set up at the wide open area terrace further enhances the Greek effect. The Café has also been furnished with the best technologies and interesting games and paraphernalia for some amazing party tricks. A well stocked library with amazing photo books and lot of graphics with chalk boards, colors and quotes further evoke the school life feel.

The lighting is controlled by an Apple platform and the sound system has been imported from UK. The lights can be set according to different moods. Colour-coordinated LED beams are in sync with the bar lighting and so are the colour-coordinated furniture. The dance floor is made of wood, meant to bring alive the feel of a school auditorium in a minimalist way. Along with a huge screen to play videos, a touch screen DJ console has been installed, called the Emulator, possibly used for the first time in any Indian cafe or club.
 
"Utmost efforts have been taken at Café Ludus to appreciate the finer things in life, including global technologies and beverages unheard of in India. These are all part of the nature of Ludus, reinstating the team's commitment to quality of experience at the café,” says Nitin.

While various challenges were faced in the design of the Cafe, the primary one was of balancing a simple school-like ambience with a fancy one. The other challenges were more to do with licensing, sourcing the architectural materials etc. Well the end result is a proof that all the challenges paid off fruitfully.
   
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