Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Favourite Hang-Out in the City of Accra

You have no end of choices from tiny, hip-hugging chairs around a short, round and wooden table, cushion-crowned, shiny-steel-legged, tall barstools and cosy couple-booths of glass and wood, with open facades and soft, comfortable leather (but straight-back) couches which accommodate the walls of the inner room. The closed end of the inner room displays drums, organs, guitars and microphones, the soul of Wednesday and Friday evening Happy Hour.

The glass door to the anteroom swings open to the bar. It’s like a balcony of a very little house, with crystal drinking glasses are hung in the open windows, and black, blue and brown bottles and silver and black dispensers stand on the bar-top or wall shelves. Little yellow lights descend softly from above the bar and reflect off the dangling glassware and the big mirrors which plate the walls behind the bartenders.

The inner room of the saloon is dimly lit from its green-blue-red-and-yellow glass-dome part of the ceiling. It’s not for certain whether they were seeking the cathedral effect or some gothic sentiment seized the designer when they got to that part of the ceiling. There are two TV sets in the tavern; a smaller screen is fixed to the end of the anteroom, and a huge screen stands at the end of the inner room.

On football night, working people pour into the quiet, little scene with colour and sound. The sneaky suspicion is that they aren’t really enamoured of the beautiful Bloody Mary or pleasant Pina Colada. They are waiting out the homeward traffic which has jammed as thick as seeds. You can’t get to Tema, Sakumono, Adenta or Achimota or any middle-class estate in the City of Accra before the Champions League match begins. And this bar is such a beautiful and cosy place.

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