Part of my job for The Star is bars. I am the guy who is charged with going to different bars that Nairobians access and tell you just how good or not good they are. This is in my weekly column “Nairobi Living” where I focus on several thing; décor, service, price of Tusker, disability access, emergency exits and of course whether one can watch the game of football. The one thing I pride myself the most is the “disability access” issues as this is the only space in Kenyan media where people with disability know where they can hang. My theory where this is concerned is that people in wheelchairs have the right to get as pissfaced as they rest of us as they down their favourite tipple. Here is a list of ten bars that I really enjoyed checking out this year. For the full list please go to the Nairobi Living Page on The Star.
1. Sirville Brewery and Lounge, Galleria Mall, Langata Road
Joining Sierra and Brew Bistro, Sirville is a microbrewery based in Langata road’s Galleria mall. I loved the great service and décor, TV for the sports junkie, clean washrooms, that it was disability friendly and it was conveniently located. On the downside the emergency exits were not convincing and meals can be pricey.
2. Club Skyfall and Lounge, Buruburu
I loved that pub which reminds me of a double decker bus. The place had decent décor, great service, central location, reasonably priced drinks, clean washrooms and TVs for the sports fanatics.
Its downside was that emergency exits not clearly marked and it was disability unfriendly.
3. Viva Lounge, Kandara Road, Kileleshwa
I discovered this little place in Kileleshwa which great décor, the great location, cool crowd and to die for pork. The only downside here is that it is not ideal for users of public transport and even those who drive might have an issue getting parking.
On Uhuru Highway the Marabou Lounge came strongly into the drinking consciousness. The pub has a convenient location, great décor, decent service, hip crowd, clean washrooms and is disability friendly. On the down side the venue is pricey and the emergency exits were not convincing.
5. Natives Sports Bar and Grill, Thika Road
Thika Road had several entries in my columns including Maxland but my favourite was the gargantuan Natives Sports Bar and Grill. The pub has decent service, clean washrooms, great décor, convenient location, sports and non sports fans equally catered to. On the downside, it doesn’t look like a place one wants to be around at cold seasons with the high roofs and parking can be a real issue.
6. Club Hypnotica, Krishna Plaza, Woodvale Grove, Westlands
Club Hypnotica is one of the many pubs in Krishna Plaza. It has world class décor and even better service, clean washrooms, disability friendly and shisha fans are sorted. On the downside the pub was very very small and emergency exits were not clearly marked.
7. Oryx Lounge Bar, Jogoo Road
This little bar on Jogoo Road is unassuming but it has great décor, excellent service, clean washrooms, emergency exits sorted, disability access and sports fanatics can get their fix. The downside is that it is extremely small and the general area doesn’t inspire where safety is concerned.
8. Eldy Grill, Zion Mall, Eldoret
I reviewed a few places out of town. One of these is the Eldy Grill which I loved for its great service, clean washrooms, free Wi-Fi, decent décor, TV for the sport fanatic and disability access. On the downside, the food, at least the pizza, disappointed and with only one clear entry and exit makes not ideal in case of an emergency.
9. Whispering Hills, Embu/Meru Highway, Embu
Also on my outside Nairobi travels, I discovred the Whispering Hills which has great service, decent décor, clean washrooms, great food, reasonably priced drinks and accommodation. The only downside was it was a bit out of the way.
10. Joe Cools, Durban, South Africa
It wasn’t just in Kenya that I was sampling beers. I was in South Africa earlier in the year and got to experience Durban. That city is way better that our Mombasa. While on the promenade I enjoyed Joe Cools where I got great service, great views of the Durban beach, decent décor and clean washrooms. The main downside here is that getting there means getting a visa, a task in itself with the South Africans being mean to Kenyans (the price of Moi supporting the Apartheid regime I suppose).