A visiting friend from Manchester, UK, asked me where he could eat the best pork in town.
I told him that the very best pork can be found in Kampala, Uganda, in the little kiosks around Makerere University where you sit on benches and drink from plastic cups.
But the second best place to have pork is perhaps 1824 Bar and Restaurant on Langata road, Nairobi.
“1824?” he asked. “Sounds posh.”
I said, no, posh wouldn’t describe 1824, maybe popular in a certain age segment; the younger crowd that believes the sun will never set.
So we went, because he always wanted a beer, too. I hadn’t been there in a while and every time you go to 1824 you find something has changed. It keeps getting bigger and bigger.
We were there in the afternoon on a weekday. The barrels that are used for tables were stashed on one side, the outside gazebo featuring hundreds of chairs, now stacked on top of each other, a testimony of the debauchery of the previous night.
The place was being cleaned up. During the day, the place reminded me of the carcass of an animal that was slaughtered the previous day.
He thought the pork was world class. (Of course he did). He then had his warm beer and we sat at the balcony overlooking Lang’ata Road and looked over at Pitstop, which had not woken up either.
I fed him hyperbolic tales about 1824, its notoriety. I went online, on some Instagram page of the guys known to frequent the bar and showed him videos.
He said, “I want to come back.”
I said: “Sure, but not with me. I like my bars chill.”
But he went back on a Friday and he left the next day at 6.30am.
What happened? I asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. “It was in the middle of the night, then it was morning.”