Text Nina van Schalkwyk
Text Nina van Schalkwyk
W here’s the best bar to go to? That’s a universal question, isn’t it? In every city in the world, you’ll find newcomers asking that question. I’m no newbie to Windhoek, but I found myself pondering just that this past week.
A friend and I wanted to meet for after-work drinks, but we couldn’t decide on where to go. There are the usual places that we all frequent, but when I began thinking about it, I realized that my list of bars is quite short.
There are the touristy places that charge an arm and a leg and then the really laid- back places where you run the risk of bumping into everyone you know and their dog. So where’s the in-between?
Windhoek, unlike most big cities, isn’t rife with hordes of restaurants and bars. That’s because we locals enjoy spending time at our homes. We’re lucky enough that owning property in Nam doesn’t mean a small flat consisting of one room with no view. In other words, the best bar in Windhoek is the one on my stoep, where I have a spectacular view over my neighbourhood and the surrounding mountains, as well as the striking colors in the sky as the sun sets. Plus, the service is great, and the cocktails get better every time.
However, for those of you who haven’t as of yet received an invitation to my house, here’s a top-five list of my other favourite Windhoek bars (in no particular order).
I love the Wine Bar, for the mere fact that it is housed in a beautiful old building and has a great view. Then comes the fact that the wines are quality wines, but not too pricey, plus, the location is quite close to town, and the vibe is ‘lekker‘ urban. It usually has a good mix of people, and there’s enough space to accommodate my massive family. What’s not to like?
I don’t often get the chance to go to Que Tapas, simply because my wallet does not always allow it, but when I do, I feel like a boss. Their cocktails are really tasty, because of the inherent passion for liquid art they seem to possess. The location is great—on the corner of The Village Complex, which is a collection of quaint old houses redeveloped and transformed into offices—with lots of greenery and activity.
What started out as a tiny bar nestled between offices in the center of town and only serving select beers and wines, has grown into a brand with a yuppie following who used to make their pilgrimage there religiously. Then, the bar closed temporarily while the owner hunted for new premises, its loyal followers waiting in anticipation. Luckily he found a spot and the Wolfshack has opened again. This time, we hope, for good.
Andy’s is an institution. It is a beer garden of note. They not only offer great pizzas, but great atmosphere; being there is like chilling out at a friend’s house. I always feel like the party is about to start when I’m at Andy’s and, most times, it does. There’s a lot of speculation about the story of the original Andy, who started the bar. One thing was for sure, you didn’t mess with Andy or with any of his staff. My guess is that things are a little more chilled now since new management took over, but only time will tell if it continues to have the same great vibe.
Why do I like the Warehouse so much? Is it because it is located right in the city centre, which is obviously a favourite area of mine, or because it’s housed in a very old building? Actually, you know what? I think it’s because of the crowd. The atmosphere is fantastic. Most nights the place is filled with young people, students from the universities on a night out, the older generation who have come for a show at the theatre itself, the artsy crowd ready for sketches and wine in the backroom, music lovers and karaoke addicts. They also have frozen margaritas!