Bad bars are an eyesore. They serve society as a necessity. Because they need to be there. For you. For when you're in a bad place. For convenience.
Never for anything serious, just a place holder for when your throat needs a scratch. And trust me, in this heat and financial times, those itches are becoming frequent. Bad bars, they scratch the itch. Hurrah to them.
But then, there are good bars.
Bars with a style of their own. Like The Collective at View Park Towers.
Now, this is a bar. A good one. A bar you'd be proud of.
Here’s why. This is a bar that has wooden tiling across the floor. They’d announce your entry if you wore heels or wooden soled oxfords. They have neatly spaced seats in quaint arrangements that you swear would tell you stories of lovers that once sat in them.
They have staff that is attentive to your needs. Needs you didn't know even existed. Needs like them getting a chair for you, like the lady you are, and pushing it in gently as you sit. Like how their English passes throw their noses and cools down in the air-conditioned space before it hits your ears. Like how they sing their menu to you. It’s almost romantic. A serenade of what they have to offer. And when you settle on what you’d like to have, they bring that drink with a complimentary bowl of popcorn. Well-seasoned popcorn that was probably bathed in hot virgin olive oil.
The seats, the wooden floor, and the artsy walls give the restaurant a homely aura that creates a positive atmosphere.
This is a bar that plays jazz and you love it. Because what else would they play? What else would go down with your Kentucky Bourbon old fashion that has an orange peel spiral cooling in the ice like it was born to be there? An old fashion that might as well be my best, yet. Well balanced. Have you ever walked past a sprinkler on a hot day? The cold drops of water touching your face feel like the fingers of tiny little Angels taking away the heat from your skin? That's what this old fashion tastes like. But to be fair, it is a tad too sweet. Never should an old fashion be too sweet. That touch of whiskey is good for the tongue. Even better for the soul. But if this place was perfect that would be a bummer. Because we are all about the imperfection, the flaw that makes the story interesting.
But as much as it is a good bar it is deceptive. Its location makes it feel like it is meant for youngens, guys hard heeling in campus hauling books all day and chasing lecturers for a bump in their grade. To sit and dine in this bar your wallet needs to be well padded. But, it is worth every penny. You will not hear the chatter from the guys sitting next to you. Because these are guys that respect a space. You can whisper in low tones and talk all about your embarrassing moments and the walls will plug a finger in their ears.
It is a refreshing space in light of Nairobi’s cliché bar décor. It doubles up as an art gallery. The walls coated with fine pieces of art that might set you back anything around 280 thousand bob. But that forms its appeal. Together with the waiters who wear uniforms with fine Ankara detail.
In my honest opinion, this is the CBD’s next date bar. A place to grab a cocktail on happy hour (half price) and listen to someone rant or bitch about their day or fill them with sweet nothings. I did not have a chance to check out their food menu. For starters, no pun intended, I was not hungry. I was just looking for a nice place to calm a scorching throat.
I would recommend that you try it. First alone. Then with a friend.
For pricing, the menu isn’t anything north of what you’d pay at a leafy suburb.
An old fashion went for KES 850 (and I got two because, happy hour.)
Generally, the most you might pay for a cocktail here would be KES 950. But trust me when I tell you it is not the drink they are selling, it is the experience. If you need anything stronger you can always open up that wallet and get yourself a bottle of Remy.