Media City isn’t exactly thriving with sleek nightspots. It’s certainly no DIFC. But the arrival of new bar and restaurant QWERTY is hoping to inject fresh life into the scene.
While it hasn’t yet managed to win over the armies of creatives and tech types who descend on the neighbourhood’s more established watering holes on a nightly basis, the Media One Hotel venue (which occupies the space formerly home to Z:ONE) is working hard to stand out from the crowd.
A nightly happy hour from 5pm to 7pm, live music from local musicians and a touch of creativity in the kitchen all lend the bar promise.
Inside, you’ll find a no-nonsense approach to design – tables are spaced out across the wooden floors, there’s an open kitchen and large bar area. It’s all simple and uncluttered, if a little lacking in character (a few more furnishings and knick-knacks would go a long way). It’s the outdoor terrace that holds the most appeal – not least, we suspect, due to the non-smoking nature of the interiors – and on cooler evenings that’s where you’ll find the bulk of the hubbub.
Order a drink and peruse the menu (bound in iconic magazine covers), which features some decidedly upgraded comfort food – the grilled cheese sandwich in particular is almost regal in appearance, its edges encircled with jagged shards of crisp cheddar – while weekends see a good-value roast on the cards.
It’s not been long since the bar and lounge opened, and the buzz still needs time to build. A bit more character (and draughts included in happy hour) could help QWERTY hit the right key. The bottom line Likeable, with room to become loveable.