Barney’s Tavern – Good food, good fun
These work trips usually get me down because I hardly have time to sleep a wink, never mind spend my social budget on my clients and take some time out, which is what everyone should be able to do, regardless of the work or play nature of a trip. So on my last work excursion, how could I not take my clients out and see the sights – it is the “Friendly City” after all, and what kind of visitor would I be if I didn’t partake in the local culture of friendliness?
Having finished all my meetings for the day, I took a taxi back to my Port Elizabeth accommodation, had a quick shower and waited for my client to collect me. She said she wanted me to indulge in the vibe of a popular local hangout and she would have blindfolded me on our way there, she was just so excited about making it a big surprise.
When we arrived at Barney’s Tavern, I liked the fact that it was right there on Hobie Beach – the perfect place to unwind after a hard day’s work, where you’re on the beach, but you don’t have to worry about getting sand in your shoes (not something that the locals would worry about, but nevertheless). I did ask the people I was with about the history of the place because I recognised the name of the establishment from a similar place at Gold Reef City, then found out it’s the same place – South Africa’s oldest brew house.
That got my mouth watering for one (okay, maybe two) of the international beers on tap – Barney’s Tavern has a very wide variety and lives up to its name of “brew house”. It’s very fitting, then, that they also love to show a variety of sports games – goes well with the beer – and they attract a large crowd for their popularity and for their sports broadcasts.
When it came time to order from the menu, I was really at a loss because there was so much that I wanted to sample. The snacks and finger foods looked amazing – the perfect supplement while nursing a tasty beer and cheering on your favourite sports team – and consisted of the usual South African favourites: chicken wings, spring rolls, pork sausages, and samoosas along with a healthy helping of chips. Juicy steaks, heaps of seafood and their (apparently) famous Eisbein were also staring back at me from the pages of the menu while my indecision took over. I eventually decided on a fillet wrap and have to add that the prices on the menu were very, very reasonable.
So while we worked through our meals, a live band played and the atmosphere was hearty, friendly, laid-back and the perfect way to enjoy all of Port Elizabeth in one place. I almost don’t want to go home again…