The name ‘Soul Restaurant & Bar’ apparently derives from the British term ‘chinwag’, or chat. And the concept of Soul Restaurant & Bar is simply that: a place for like-minded folk to gather and wag chins. While nigh on every Brit to whom we’ve mentioned the name has been forced to stifle a smile, there’s nothing to mock here.
Amid the muddle of sports bars, beach bars and tourist traps, any new opening at JBR is a welcome relief, and we’re happy to say Soul Restaurant & Bar doesn’t disappoint. It’s essentially a bar of two halves. Inside it’s a tidy and chic lounge at the far end of popular brunch venue The Talk; outside it stretches over the Mövenpick’s welcoming pool terrace, which boasts both the great views and easy accessibility of a prime mid-JBR location.
The inside is all understated style – at first glance you might mistake it for a forgettable corner bar, but sink into a bar stool and you’ll slowly appreciate the understated elegance that has gone into crafting this place. The amber lighting and earthy woody hues contrast with a hint of upscale New York chic and sophistication, a sense of style reinforced by the welcome selection of grape. And take special note of the impressive lampshades, shipped specially from Europe. But don’t mistake this for an exclusive bar. Prices are reasonable: it’s just cosy and cool.
Outside, the Soul Restaurant & Bar brand has stretched over the pool terrace where shisha hangout Layali once stood. When we visited during the soft-opening phase, the main outdoor change was a new bar, designed in the same stylish hues as the interior, but we’re told all the daytime beach loungers will soon be removed in the evenings and replaced with new Chinwag-friendly furniture.
While it’s early days, we’re pretty convinced Soul Restaurant & Bar combination of understated class, easy-going charm and convenient location will make it a top spot for a midweek drink with mates. Get those chins wagging.