Here’s a hotel managers’ easy guide to creating a new bar. Step one: find an under-utilised space in an otherwise forgotten part of the premises, preferably outside. Step two: erect a bar and drag over a couple of those omnipresent plain white sofas. Step three: cook up a menu of mixed drinks based on inventive ‘fusions’. Et voilà.
That certainly seems to have been the extent of efforts that went into crafting Le Bar, a bar as lazily created as it is named. Perhaps they thought naming their new bar The Bar would be a little too self-explanatory, but adding the French prefect has only further displayed an idleness of invention. There’s nothing noticeably Gallic about the place at all; in fact it specialises in drinks based on Russian beverages.
The strength of any bar so – let’s be polite – ‘minimalist’ will always be the locale: if you’re sitting atop a peak or in the middle of a rainforest, the colour of the chairs really doesn’t matter.
In this case, Le Bar has an undeniably pleasant spot. Stationed next to the pool on a low terrace, overlooking Al Manzil’s central buzzing courtyard restaurant, it’s surprisingly peaceful: you really don’t feel as though you’re in the heart of Downtown Dubai. This serenity is underlined by the (really rather odd) fact that there was no music at all playing when we visited.
Of course, tranquillity is only a stone’s throw from tragedy – all the quiet and calm can easily be seen on the flipside as dull, or even forgettable. Le Bar certainly didn’t seem to be at the forefront of many drinkers’ minds on the Saturday night we visited; despite the fact there’s seating for barely two dozen, the tiny bar was painfully quiet. And with no potent USP besides its tranquillity in Downtown, it’s hard to see Le Bar really picking up and kicking off.