Creeping up on Cairo’s nightlife scene without suspicion, I found out about Bar D’O from a certain blonde.
I found out about Bar D’o from a certain blonde who forced me to buy shoes when I was wearing flip flops so we could check out Zamalek’s latest hot spot without me looking like I’d just strolled in from a picnic. My new shoes looked great, and we strutted in with our Cairo Zoom faces on, expecting the new bar to be the kind of place people go to see and be seen. We walked through the lobby of the President Hotel with no interruption; no checking if we were on the guest list, no looking us up and down, and no making sure we were in couples. In fact, there was no one at the secretive door that leads into what is quite frankly the closest thing we have to a proper bar in Cairo. And I mean proper in the cockney English way that means real, and not the strange American way that means formal. With no bells and whistles, no DJs or dress codes, we’d found the answer to our hang out prayers. Catching up with one of the brains behind this godsend of a bar, Khaled Sabry, he hit the nail right on the head – “What differentiates Bar D’o is its character. You’ll find yourself in a place that reminds you of the mellow New York Meat-Packing District or London’s Chelsea basements.”
Impeccably decorated to resemble a cool, inner-city loft apartment, bare brick walls and all, Bar D’o definitely doesn’t look like Egypt. Which is a good thing these days when Egypt doesn’t even look like Egypt anymore. With funky oriental-ish remixes of well-known songs playing at just the right volume in the background, and a little bit of old skool RnB thrown in, it’s a totally relaxed yet achingly cool place to meet up for a drink and have actual conversations. I know conversations are overrated, but this night and this place was particularly conducive to real human interaction which included someone showing me photos of cats on their phone without even annoying me. “We felt that Cairo was begging for a spot for those late afternoon drinks and Zamalek was the perfect place for this. People all over the world go straight for drinks after work,” says Sabry. Bar D’o’s drinks menu is impressive and we opted for their special jar drinks, which are quite literally drinks served in giant jars that’ll keep you sipping away for hours. There’s also a serious food situation happening here so, if you’re on a perpetual diet like me, you should only visit like 3 or 4 or 5 times a week and starve yourself the rest of the time. Why? Because they have cheese platters and tortilla chips and perfectly cooked prawns and other delicious nibbly things. I think I’m going to have my wedding there.
If you haven’t checked out Bar D’o yet, shame on you.
20 Taha Hussein Street, New President Hotel, Zamalek, Cairo 01208426641 / 027365880