Bars, it seems, are like bad pennies; they keep popping up everywhere, especially in Nairobi. Also, Nairobians, rather a specific type of Nairobians [middle class]don’t have allegiance to bars.
In fact, what does Nairobi middle-class have allegiance to apart from status and consumerism? Take the real wealthy guys [not the rich ones] the old money types.
They go to their country clubs on specific days of the week where stoic and robotic barmen with institutional memory serve them the same drink each time. Their drinking is quiet and predictable.
Then there are the blue collars. Very loyal to their locals, so loyal that the bar often extends credit because they are good for it.
The middle class, on the other hand, are as predictable as the current rainfall patterns. They will crowd a bar in one season and then be gone the next when a new one opens down the road. They surf the crowds.
Kettle House Bar opened on Nairobi’s Muthangari Road not long ago and it’s your quintessential middle-class bar. You know this right at the parking lot when you drive in.
Talking of which, where it stands used to be a parking lot or sorts. I parked there a few times on nights I’d go drinking at Numero 5 bar across the road, a time when it was all the rage.
I was there last weekend and it’s amazing what someone can do with a space. The design is amazing for the warm tropics; open, with no walls and very high industrial roofs. Charming.
There is a massive screen from which sports lovers can watch whatever is on from anywhere in the bar. A sound deejay was doing his thing. The faces at Kettle House are the same faces you will see in most bars around Kilimani, Kileleshwa, and environs.
One thing that has to be said: The vibe at Kettle House is electric. If you like a decent mature night out, this is your best bet. For now.