I was passing by Hill Road last evening when I was ambushed by something big, pink and psychedelic. It's 'Mochamojo' - or good old Mocha@Hill Road - back with a bang.
When did it reopen? April 15.
Why is it a big deal? Because Mocha Hill Road was a hangout place with a difference. While all Mochas are cool and interesting, the Hill Road one was something else.
Has it changed for the better? Surprisingly, yes!
Gone is the old, grungy look
Gone are the hookahs
Gone are the waiters with fez caps
Mochamojo is inspired by 70s pop-art. The theme is 'bright, shiny and happy' - which is a great idea, in these slightly depressing times. You enter and immediately your mood is uplifted. Which is not something you can say about a Barista :)
So what about the menu?
Well, it is much the same but a little different. The menu card is now designed like a vinyl record (complete with the hole). Inside are most of the old favourites - the paninis, poutine, desserts and coffees.
But there's more healthy stuff now. Like fresh fruit juices (complete with calorie count), a salad bar and 'raw food' spaghetti (raw food being a big thing in the US).
Again, I think this reflects the changing times, the health consciousness among people. Not that they will necessarily order it every time but it's good to take a 'leadership' position in that area for a brand like Mocha.
What did I have? Belgian waffles - although it was four in the afternoon. Because they said 'we serve 'em all day'. And I find them on the menu so rarely!
The staff is also rather nice (right now). Apart from the fact that they've got a makeover in terms of uniform (bright pink aprons!) - they are quite 'concerned' about your wellbring. The guy serving me apologised profusely, for taking 20 minutes to get my order.
Theek hai bhai - maaf kiya. As I was happily occupying a whole comfortable white sofa and enjoying the ambience I did not really care.
And by the way, it may be a 70s theme but they play 80s and 90s music :)
The only silly part was that the manager did not allow me to take pics. Officially. He said:"You will have to contact our PR manager XYZ."
But he didn't stop me from taking pics from my cellphone. Or videos from my (brand new) Kodak Zi6 HD camera (that too looks like a phone.. so I guess no one notices :)
It's not that I want to 'not follow the rules'.
But I love this place and want to share what I saw.
And I don't have the patience to deal with bureaucracy.
So more power to Mochamojo. Check it out on a dreary afternoon when you want to get away from it all.
And for marketing types flogging thakela brands, as well as each one of us feeling stuck in a rut - here is a lesson to be learnt.
On the power of reinvention!