Food & Drinks

Rooftop bars in city with little to offer


Have you noticed that there are many rooftop bars craning their necks in the city all of a sudden? Is it a fad? Is it that the real estate is teeming with taller buildings than before? Is it that suddenly it’s better to look at Nairobi from above?

Are we trying to get closer to heaven while holding onto our drinks? Whatever it is, there is the Rooftop Bar at Ibis Styles in Nairobi, Westlands. It takes a whole floor. One side features a balcony sitting, with an arresting view of Nairobi, which leads to a more bar-ish area with silver-legged tables and chairs.

The other section has red couches and white tables, awkwardly lined behind a low wall running next to the breath of the large windows that promise to offer more vista of our beautiful city but that fails because the couches are too low and someone planted some plants behind the window. Nonetheless, the feeling is that you are on top of Nairobi. In addition, you can see the sky.

It’s on this section that I sat recently. The music was very good but the sound was very bad, like we were listening to music in a Taliban cave in Afghanistan. Hang on, that analogy is not even right. The Taliban beheads anyone who listens to music. The service wasn’t any better. I had to summon a waitress. Then when our drinks were brought, I had to stand up and look for her again.

When she came I told her, “Is it fair that I have to keep looking for you to serve us?” She apologised. She said, “It won’t happen again.” Then it happened again. A third time. I wasn’t even mad.


When she came to our table I simply said, “It’s not your fault, dear. You are simply a bad waitress. But I hope you intend to do better for yourself and for other jobs you will undertake in future.” I spoke to her in my “father voice.” I have a father voice and use it in occasions like this. Otherwise, OK, bar. A place to wait out the traffic.