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Bar Hafra is a relic from the French Colonial Occupation, in the tradition of Bar des Clochards (tramp's bar), modeled on similar establishments in 1920's Marseilles and Bordeaux. There are two alcoves beside the front entrance, where clientele are allowed to rest, after a boisterous drinking session, provided they cause no trouble or harass other drinkers.
Ostensibly, a place for local working men to drink, usually to oblivion, after their day's work, it also offers all services, Tapas of fried fish, hot beans in sauce and bread, a wide-screen satellite TV suspended from the ceiling for football addicts and loud Arab pop music blaring out from the in-house sound system. Salesmen arrive from time to time with large trays stocked with nuts, paper tissues and other miscellaneous essentials, and there is one resident blind cigarette salesman, who manoeuvres expertly around the bar , supplying clientele. Kif pipes are smoked "de riguer" as are hashish cigarettes.
The noisy lively atmosphere, especially at weekends after 9pm can appear intimidating to foreign tourists, but this is how Moroccan men relax with a drink or ten. Itinerant local musicians arrive to entertain with traditional Berber music played on wood instruments, and a tambour drum. After the musicians' rendition, the drum is passed around to collect small tips from an appreciative audience (five dirhams will suffice.) A formidable "gorilla" bouncer sits on his sentinel seat in the approach alleyway to the bar and filters out any undesirables, also dealing with any "situations" in the bar itself, which require his physical capabilities and expertise!
There are three covert video clips taken inside the bar, uploaded in error to my profile page, which can be viewed there, to reveal a more interesting visual presentation of the bar.........
I was a regular people watcher here in April 2012, every evening on my ten-day stay, my favourite Essaouira "watering hole"!
Dress Code: Absolutely anything goes!
Updated Mar 24, 2013
Address: Ruette Layachi, behind the Hotel Sahara.
This is a local bar for local people, situated at the end of the beach it has great views. Very popular with the locals it is open until 8pm and has a TV for those all important football matches. Beer is 15Dh per bottle.
Another place for a beer is Restaurant Mogador aka Mog Bar just facing the beach.
Dress Code: very casual
Written Sep 10, 2007
Address: End of the beach next to Café de la plage
This is an excellent place to come for a drink and meet other travellers.
The Taros cafe is in a top half of a restored building over looking the main square. A little on the trendy side but well worth the visit for one night. They had a live a band playing when I was there but they sang in french which I don't understand but they were very good.
This is very nice place to come for some entertainment after an evening meal.
Click on 1 more photo.
Dress Code: Their was no dress code for this place and I don't think you will have a problem getting in because your a tourist.
Updated Mar 17, 2007
Address: 2 Rue du Skala, Essaouira, Morocco
This little place is a very cozy place for a meal and up stairs is a lounge area to chill out and have a drink or two after dinner.
Bear 28dirhams or £2 for a small bottle of Heiniken
Sorry I have no picture of this place
Dress Code: No dress code here.
Updated Mar 11, 2007
There is no European-style night life in Essaouira or I didn't find any, at least in October. Maybe it works different when more foreign visitors come to Essaouira, maybe there is some nightlife in larger hotels.
I didn't sleep in Essaouira but I had noticed that Essaouira had plenty of hotels, covering all classes except top class. As they may be fully booked I advice to check around no later than in the early evening. As usuall in Morocco the cheapest hotels are located in the old district (medina), the best ones outside the city walls.
A couple of bars serve alcoholic drinks in Place Prince Moulay Hassan. Anyway, it seems that the city goes to sleep very early just after sunset.
Dress Code: Just casual dress for bars.
Updated Sep 4, 2006
Address: Place Prince Moulay Hassan
It doesnt exist.
Even the western new year wasnt celebrated, i know they have no reason too but as it was a tourist town i thought maybe something wouldve been going on, but hey, it kept me of the lash.
Written Jan 8, 2006
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