Pub that grows on you for life

The Sippers Bar in Hurlingham, Nairobi. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI
The Sippers Bar in Hurlingham, Nairobi. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI   Nation Media Group

Sippers is one of those bars that you go to after many months and find everything as you left it. One thing about this pub is the fact that most of those who go there love Rhumba. And they play a lot of that interspersed with old school music.

I decided to stop by there on a Friday evening. I spy a former boss of mine sitting in the outside seating area, with a young woman who is too young to be his wife and who is sitting too close to him to be his daughter.

We chat briefly before I enter the pub and sit by the counter where five distinguished-looking gentlemen are having a beer and a hearty laugh.

They look like they are in their late 40’s or early 50’s, running their own business or are directors of companies. I notice that they are all in suits and expensive looking watches.

They drink whisky or beers. Politics dominates the counter. Even when they are disagreeing, they still manage to laugh, because, really, first they are friends then they are political animals.

These are the type of guys who frequent Sippers; aged around 40, settled, calm and discerning.

There are also the younger guys, who grew up listening to Rhumba from their father’s gramophones. Guys like me and that guy seated at the corner with a much younger woman who looks like she’d rather be next door at Sailor’s Pub.

Sippers doesn’t have much of an ambience, but who cares for ambience when the music is great and the mood is what is should be?

The service is great mainly because the waiters are efficient and respectful. They don’t mix your orders. I always have their sausage choma, that comes with a side plate of salad garnished in olive oil.

No bar in the same range as Sippers serves a salad this good. Look around, and prove me wrong.


Sippers is one of those bars that you either like or dislike, but once you like it, you’ll never stay away. It’s consistent, it’s not too loud, they play great music and that choma sausage…!

At some point during the night, some two girls will join the old men at the bar. And like perfect gentlemen, they will stand up and offer them their chairs. You can tell that they don’t want anything from the girls but company. It’s like having a flower on your table.

My former boss is still there where I left him. I stop by his table to say bye and thank him for the drink he sent over.

The girl with him is now happier than she was when I walked in. And she shows her happiness by placing one hand on his thigh.... She is definitely not his daughter. Or wife.