If we all had our ways, we would not drink in hotel bars. Life is difficult as it is. Hotel bars are for the lonely and the castaway. There is always something very plastic about them, something that does not seduce you and make you want to stay longer.
The Gallery Wine Bar at The Sankara Nairobi, although a hotel bar, it somehow seems to have grown out of the funk that others find themselves in. You can actually tell someone—‘‘meet me at the Gallery Bar at the Sankara’’.
Why? Because it is stylish and if the person is into wine then they will not twist their nose when looking at the wine menu.
It is also not a massive bar with many seats. It fills quickly, like all good bars do, and when that happens and you miss a seat against the large windows, you have to make do with one of the long seats at the bar.
I was there recently after a long hiatus. It was a Friday and I was surprised to find it already almost full. A famous chairman was standing at the large sliding glass wall holding their wine collection. He is South African, so he knows his wine. I had whisky.
To be clear, if you are the kind of person who will feel the pinch buying a tot of whisky for at least Sh900, you will not be hanging around there for too long, I suppose. The ones who stay are the ones who do not feel the pinch, which defines the clientele for you.
Wine lovers will thrive here or people who want a quick after work drink-up/meeting with a client. The ambience is sexy. It is a bar that knows it’s trying and is making the cut. Even better news? Sankara stopped charging parking.