I actually walked past this establishment several times. Unlike many of its newer competitors, the Metro is an old and favourite 'haunt' of ex-pats. In fact its a gothic pre-Soviet heirloom of a place that was recently renovated, so I read. Your open a heavy wooden door in to a dimly lit cavernous interior. There are massive interior columns across what was once probably an assembly hall. The bar runs the length of one side of the building and has many screens and TV's for sports. Then I noticed the big fans over the bar. They were actual airplane propellers! Pretty wild.
Service (you pay 10% for) had to be summoned with a friendly wave of the hand. Its a big place and they were nice enough. The menu was very pizza and Mexican food oriented. To be fair - its the kind of food you do want in a bar. They also had several pool tables if watching live sports on TV isn't eneough.
The Metro was known as 'The America Bar' over 10 years ago, buts its still a hangout to find Americans, Brits and a few local women willing to hang out in a bar. They have mostly imported beers and the only 'local' one they have on draft is Baltica (Russia isn't that close). Like many 'pubs' in Bishkek they aren't open that late on weekdays. You can also telephone in for takeaway orders. Their new phone number is on this tip!
The other interesting thing about The Metro is their 'Book Shop'. Somewhere they have a case of brand new English language books priced around $5 more than whatever the cover price is. Apparently they sell quite a few books.
So if you want to do it Ex-pat style in Bishkek - you found your new home.
Service charge - 10%
Stalker used to be an internet café until some smart person realised what Almaty most needed - a local beer bar at normal prices with some good food! They have a mixed menu of local dishes and Mexican food. With main meals (including fajitas!) for around $7-8 and pints of beer for around $1.50-2.00, you can afford to Stalk this place for hours. I was greeted warmly by a pretty young lady who made sure I had a menu I could read easily. And then she brought me an excellent, and cold, Zatecky Gus beer. Made by the people at Baltica, it was a quality pint.
When I was having my second beer, 2 locals started talking to me. One had been working in California for 20 years and they bought me a beer while I told them about getting arrested twice in 36 hours (crime - being a Tourist).
This is how I found out a few things - like where were the computers!? Yes, I had Stalker listed as an internet café and wanted to send some emails. It once was, but now its a proper bar. And they told me the food is good here as well. I also like that there were coats hooks over every table and an electrical outlet. Handy! And the music was barely heard from the next room. Great service, prices and relaxing.
So if you want a quality beer, meal, good chat and want to stay on a budget in Almaty - Stalker!
Whatever the outside weather conditions dictate.
Situated just a few steps from the Kempinski Hotel in Coastal City, Suzy's Late Night lounge bar offers a great seletion of drinks, from international favorites like Carlsberg, Corona, Budweiser, Heineken, San Miquel, to the local brew Tsing Tao. Classy spirits like Jack Daniels, Capt. Morgans, Jagermeister, Jim Beam, and Glenfiddich are also on the drinks menu. They also serve wines, cocktails, soft drinks, and a few light snacks to go with the drinks. A wide screen HDTV, Pool Table, and music takes care of the entertainment. Not to mention a friendly, English-speaking female staff to keep you entertained. They are also giving away free second round drinks to new customers who have seen their ads or the article that mentions them. What are you waiting for? Round up your buddies and prepare for a cozy night of relaxation and fun! Open from 5pm onwards.
Dress Code: Casual
Singapore was more Western minded than Indonesia and Malaysia in regards nightlife and finding a typical Western way of spending the evening was not difficult.
Indonesia and Malaysia, on the other hand, are predominately Muslim countries and as such, alcohol doesn't play a part in nightlife activities as it does in Western countries.
Going to a restaurant with nightly entertainment is a popular way to spend the evening with friends and can be lots of fun. However for those who must have a cocktail to unwind, the most reliable Western style nightlife can be found in the better hotel bars and lounges. Of course, you will be giving up the opportunity of experiencing the nightlife culture of the locals.
Dress Code: Dress up rather than down as there seems to be a certain expectation. At the very least "stylishly casual" would be acceptable.
JJ's at the Grand Hyatt, dance to your favorite dance tunes downstairs in JJ's, while upstairs you can listen to r&b from the house band usually from the states. Joe Bananas, well you can just get your dance on till way early in the morning.
Dress Code: Dress to impress. Now Joe bananas want the men to have a collared shirt on, oh, you can wear shorts and have trainers on, but your shirt must have a collar to it.
In Osaka - there's the BLUE NOTE - an expensive venue for live music - and the shows are pretty short (1.5h), but gobs of entertainers roll through...There's also the ST. JAMES with a Mr Tanaka who is a wizard at the piano - he plays with a rotation of drummers and bassists, and I've seen a guest singer too - very swank - dark oak, but really worth it...Also, there's the NEW SUNTORY FIVE which hosts a handful of New Orleans style jazz bands - great place (even if they charge door and force you to buy mixed nuts) because you're almost sitting in the band, they do what they want, and they let 'younger' musicians test themselves in front of an appreciative audience - keep your eye out for a drum and piano duo who are unreal when unleashed together!
whoops - guess I did that in the first section - a case of 'type first, read second' eh?
Dress Code: I've gotten away with jeans and hiking boots, and shorts in the summer, but they aren't going to turn you away if you're more pulled together - If you're shy about your state of undress - hit the St.James - dark wood, pinlights, plush seats - you can just fade in...
Shilpa singing KareOK at our leaving party in Jinzhou.
In Dalian - go to the bars on Renmin Lu of Zhongshan Square - Bobs Bar I think. Revolving restaurant next to the Ramada offers good views and isn't extortionat.
Beijing - Bar street.
Streets some to life with with vendors selling their wares. But the best stuff is free, they call it atmosphere.
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