There are many types of drinking places in Nairobi city – some public and others private. This past Friday I was introduced to a different kind of drinking place by my good friend journalist turned PR practitioner Wangechi Wahome.
Ms Wahome invited me to her workplace at Ogilvy PR and I was assuming that I would be having a drink at the CVS plaza in their Hurlingham offices. When I made it to the offices, I went to the fourth floor, and here I had to be ushered to the back. And here, I encountered a very different concept.
While companies are known to have cafeterias, here I saw a fully-fledged bar which included a counter by the entrance to the place. This part of the venue was still within the building, but the vast majority of the punters were at the outside by the balcony seated on seats.
I was ushered to the outer area and a cold Tusker was put before me to drink. I came to learn that the only way that one could order a drink here was on the tab of a staff member. This meant that you were at the mercy of the person who invited you.
As I drunk my cold beer I look around at the crowd. It was mainly staff of the giant advertising firm who were here drinking with people I came to learn were either their clients, or to a smaller extent their friends. It was a very enjoyable evening I had as I hobnobbed with the people who are in charge of the communication of important Kenyan corporations with their guards down. This is a rare opportunity as during working hours everyone is very busy in the rat race.
At around 11pm, the bar man closed the bar and we had to leave and continue our enjoyment at a different place. The beauty about this bar closing was that it allowed for those who needed to continue do so as the tired could sneak off to rest after a long day.
A quick recap of the venue:
Good: Decent décor and service, clean washrooms, disability friendly,
Bad: Emergency exits not convincing, early closing time.
My verdict: Not for the general public. But if you get an invite, a guaranteed blast. Other firms should consider having such a venue especially to schmooze clients.