Nairobi loves to spoil a good thing. And when Nairobi finally gets wind of Bagatelle NBO, the newest cool kid in the bar scene, it will hype it, flood it and then turn it into a cautionary tale of notoriety.
But for now, it’s all quiet on the Westlands front. That beautiful calm before a raging storm. Which is the best time to visit Bagatelle.
Only a month old, it sits in the space the Beer Garden used to occupy in Kenrail Towers, Westlands. It features high industrial-like ceilings with all manner of beams running across, lights dangling, massive soundproofed windows overlooking the streets.
Then there are the leggy hostesses in short black dresses to welcome you at the entrance and into the long wide room.
The space is sexy. That’s the only word I can think of now. Sexy Bagatelle. Sounds like a hot baguette fresh from the oven, doesn’t it?
But anybody can set up a great decor for a bar. The magic of Bagatelle is the music and the mood - at least on Fridays. And for that, we have to hand Deejay Storm his flowers.
His technique is to start strong and maintain that strength, power through it, song after song, beat after beat, till a crashing crescendo at 1 am. It’s an art form of sorts, sorcery of music.
The first time I heard him play was last Friday and I turned and asked one of the fellows, who is that? Fridays are mostly old school days; new jack swing and that kind of jazz. It’s beautiful music. It’s nostalgic and it’s served with talent.
The sound engineering is such that even though the music feels like it’s coming from your own body, you can have a conversation with someone.
The night features bottles upon bottles being delivered to tables, escorted by the said leggy hostesses holding up white burning torches.
The mood is electric and it stays that way. Even the most placid of people will be stirred at Bagatelle.
Go now, for I don’t know for how long it will remain what it is now before the whole of Nairobi comes crashing through its doors.