I interviewed Mark Dunford [CEO, Knight Frank] and the newspaper misspelt his name as Danford. Naturally, he wasn’t amused. I apologised on behalf of the paper and because he’s a sport he said, ‘don’t worry about it. In fact, let’s have some whisky. There are more serious things in life.”
We met at the gardens of ATE restaurant in Kyuna Crescent at sunset. His hair was still as coiffed as it was when I first met him. [I think he sleeps with a helmet on].
ATE seemed to be very expat-heavy, very cuacasian. [Warning; book ahead]. After two whiskies he said, “Come I show you something cool.” He picked up his two phones and stood up. At the end of the building, he knocked on a wooden door that looked disused. A small window opened and a pair of eyes stared back. “Dunford,” he said.
The window closed. The door opened. We stepped into another world; a dark, woody, grungy, testosterone-painted bar. All bricks and exposed pipes and mood lighting. A long wooden counter and a buffed barman called Jeff standing behind it. Black Velvet by Allanah Myles played. This was Revolver whisky bar, a private members-only bar with over a 100 types of exotic whiskies.
To Jeff he said; “Get us the Octomore.” Turning to me, “this is one of the most heavily-peated single malts ever. It’s like drinking smoke.” [He’s a big peated whisky head]. I scanned the extensive [and pricey] whisky list some, like the Balvenie 40-year-old going for Sh60,000 a double.
There was an adjacent main room next door, matt walls with a quote on the wall by Ernest Hemmingway: “ drink to make other people more interesting.” Upstairs on a rooftop - closed for now - was more seating space.
I was amazed that a place like that existed [and I have gone to many bars], a secret place of great whisky and cigars. Revolver is Spanish meaning ‘come back’ but it’s a bar you just don’t rock up at. That’s not how they roll.