In many ways, Jekyll & Hyde is a pub primed for the DIFC crowd. Not least because for a central business district, the area is oddly lacking in them – The Gramercy is probably the closest thing to a classic European watering hole.
Occupying the spot previously home to the swish, speakeasy-style bar and restaurant that was the all-too short-lived R Trader, this new venture promises to be “a friendly pub and proper city gastro” offering “all-day, every-day value”.
There’s enough to like about this place – that is if you can overlook the casual, nominative misogyny of its “Totties on the Town” ladies’ night.
At the very least, it’s pleasing to the eye – tables wrapped in old comic strips surrounded by leather bar stools and seats create a scene that’s both playful and grown up. And it’s hard to disagree with that value promise, with a daily 11am to 8pm happy hour offering a buy one, get one free deal on selected drinks, plus bottles of grape for Dhs120. (Which could come in handy if you’ve just lost that deal and seen your bonus slip through your fingers.)
There’s also a distinctly casual vibe, the kind missing from some other DIFC drinking spots. While you might be surrounded by suits, this certainly isn’t the sort of place you’ll need to wear one.
Staff too, as promised, are friendly, and keen to know you’re having a good time.
And on the whole, if you’re just here for a drink or a game of pool, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. However, contrary to the promise and our keen anticipation, the food turns out to be an altogether less enjoyable experience – keep an eye out for more on that in the Eating Out section of next week’s issue.
As a bar, Jekyll & Hyde delivers a fresh aesthetic and some good deals to DIFC. Unfortunately, we’ve few compliments to pay the cooking.
And what’s a gastropub without the grub?
The bottom line
A decent new haunt – but just for drinks.