By Nii B. Andrews
There is an inauspicious container on a bypass road in Osu.
Once we entered, we encountered more than a thousand balloons – 1014 to be precise comprising an installation by Frances Quarcoopome.
Each of us chose a fresh balloon of a different color and it was time to blow it up…….on your own steam.
Every entrant that day was mandated to blow one up and contribute to the Balloon installation.
Easy for me. Ditto for the room mate.
Only the occasional cigar these days with a daily 30 minute run for the last five months.
I am almost ready for the Octagon!
Alongside the balloons were several whimsical pieces of furniture from the Sole Inspiration line of signature leathers – a swing, a couple of wood and leather stools.
Then it was through the door into the speakeasy with the four charming ladies in my posse.
The decor was well thought out; the aluminium topped bar and hanging retro lamps set a minimalist industrial chic tone that was softened by the colonial wooden shutters.
The bar itself occupied the whole wall; a ceiling high bookshelf with premium bottles to be studied and enjoyed…..always bearing in mind the civilized responsibility of not driving intoxicated.
Area seating was provided by cushion topped aluminium buckets- smart, utilitarian and comfortable.
Then the tour de force in the next room – the over 3800 hand placed bulbs for the prototype ceiling chandelier by Tarek.
You simply have to dig it.
Even the bathrooms done in all black were perfect.
The mojito gets a B plus; but the barman an A minus – simply because his bow tie was pre tied and he also had clip on suspenders.
But he had all the right professional moves, a friendly demeanor and a cool attitude.
I like him; he is a credit to the joint.
Now the walls.
There were many old group photographs individually framed and hung carefully on one wall. All the walls were painted a matte dusky grey.
Other walls had original artwork- paintings by emerging artists and also two wood sculptures by Gerald Chukwuma.
The music was kept at a decent volume throughout, thus facilitating easy conversation; international pop, the best of World Music circa 1985- 1995…..Mory Kante, Salif Keita, Youssou Ndour.
How exhilarating; what a change!!
It’s members only.
It’s a venue where a gentleman seated at the bar in a vintage velvet smoking jacket (green, black, brown or blue) and open necked white shirt will not feel out of place.
Next time, I’ll ditch the blue blazer.