EVERYBODY WHO drinks here seems to know the next patron. You will walk in and find all patrons huddled around one large table, drinking beer and cracking loud jokes. It’s one of those few bars where people conspire to put their inhibitions aside and just drown in the booze and get lost in music.
If you happen to be the type that hops from bar to bar to tap free drinks from happy drinkers, then try this place. Same for the person who likes to strike conversation with total strangers over a beer.
Like I mentioned earlier, the patrons here are not inhibited, perhaps partly because they belong to one big family.
When I checked in for this review, I found a bunch of about twelve lads drinking beer, smoking cigars and cracking bar jokes.
After warning me about taking their pictures, they let loose and went back into character. They literally took me hostage and started furnishing me with tidbits about the group and the bar. It was lunch time, so I wanted to know what the occasion was. The response from the group’s leader came promptly and took me unawares; “Life’s a bitch, then one day you die. That’s why we’re always high, ‘cos you never know when you’re gonna go.” Another told me of how this is the place “where Rambos are humble. They shoot, but only pints!”
The third response was rather philosophical. The guy pulled me aside and told me: “I met the devil in Kacyiru, holding a heart in his hands. I took a bite, it was bitter, but I liked it because it was my own soul. I am me, and I like what I do.”
Ici C’est Bon is the kind of bar you can visit with your laptop and play your own selection. Which is not really necessary as the DJ plays East African and international club anthems all day and all night. That’s right, this bar operates 24/7. It is common to see patrons dancing and nursing beer bottles as early as 7:00am, when the rest of us are rushing to work.
And wherever strangers can toast to a beer, dancing follows inevitably. This is why management is erecting an extension that will double as bar and dance floor.
Ici C’est Bon’s biggest secret is customer care, and the fact that it is an equal’s bar, so to speak. High-end hustlers cruising powerful wheels call here home, as do the lay people in the neighbourhood. You want a drink that is not on the menu, and the waiter will gladly sprint to the next shop and get you sorted.
The beers are cheap, with a big Primus going for Rwf800 and a Mutzig at Rwf1,000. Black and Red Labels go for Rwf40.000 and Rwf25.000 respectively.
They do have some bites too; chips, brochette, chicken, and Zingalo (offals).