With Ramadan winding to a close and my mind fooling my senses with the sweet scent of the Mediterranean Sea in a fleeting burst of nostalgia, I’ve already bought new flip-flops for the Eid beach-binge to come. They’re red, white and baby blue and they’re super comfortable.
Anyway, with some of the country’s event organisers keeping a low profile (hey, they need a holiday every know and again, too), many Cairenes seem rather passive.
But Sahel rarely disappoints and there are still plenty of options to channel the energies of the glug-glug and the sniff-sniff through.
6IX DEGREES (Hacienda Bay)
From the good people behind the will-it-close-won’t-it-close-does institution of nightlife in Cairo, Tamarai, comes 6IX Degrees – no, that’s not a Franco-Arabic letter that you’ve never seen before, it’s a clever visual play on the number six. Possibly the most anticipated bar opening since Horreya in Downtown was closed for a while, 6IX Degrees is said to operate on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with a special opening penciled in for Wednesday 23nd.
LA BODEGA (Marassi)
Cairo nightlife suffered a shocking loss early this year when La Bodega was mercilessly shutdown by the evil forces of party-pooperism. Since then, though, the legendary bar has washed up on the shores of the North Coast, where it has dusted itself off, got a new haircut and settled in Marassi. The harrowing riches-to-rags-then-back-to-riches story will continue with a summer romance with the Godfather of the Egyptian DJing scene, Amr Hosny.
The Smokery (Marassi)
As one of the only places that know how to treat a quality piece of salmon, the Smokery in Katameya Heights is one of my favourite restaurants in Cairo and a Cairo 360 Editor’s Choice Award winner – it’s just a hassle to get to. There will be no such complaints from me, however, with the elegant joint’s new digs in Marassi, where – as part of the experience – patrons are sent out to catch they’re own quality salmon. No, I’m just kidding – that would be awful.
Set to open in a ‘secret’ location along the North Coast, Tabla has done a good job of raising awareness of one of the most underrated shapes in existence today, the circle. Monumental nightlife-architecture advances aside, people are rather excited thanks to a VIP entry procedure that involves your best selfie, Facebook and a key. I’m really trying hard to not roll my eyes. Screw it, I’m rolling them.
THE LEMON TREE & CO. (Marassi & Telal)
Wow – the Lemon Tree & Co. owner, Ahmed Hanafy, doesn’t mess about. Only a few months after opening in Zamalek, the chilled rooftop bar is channeling some of its energy to Sahel in, not one but two locations! Details are scarce as of now – but it’s the Lemon Tree & Co’ in Sahel. What’s not to like?