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Monday, November 20, 2006

The priciest boozer in town...

One of my favourite drinking spots in Dubai is the wonderful 'Up on the Tenth' bar in the Intercon. It's expensive, oh yes, but it's like being on the set of Miami Vice or Moonlighting. It's so 80s, all that black and chrome plus the smoky lounge environment and all that sweet jazz music wafting around- I love it! Next time I will dig out that black velvet puffball number with the shoulder pads.

However, when in Al Ain I don't expect to take out a mortgage to buy a beer. This was one of the comments falling from expat lips over the weekend. Were they talking about Trader Vics (which we all know is not cheap)? No! They were talking about the HnJ*!

OMG, the wonderful HnJ. Dark interior, bum crushing seats, fag-stained wallpaper- no more. Bring on the subtle lighting, the dance floor, the 'Hoxton' seats, the extended terrace. The place looks wonderful; well done Intercon for dragging the place into 2006. BUT what have you done with the prices!!!

There are two ways to look at this. Going to the HnJ will become a treat, something worth dressing up a bit for. If you want to pour booze down your throat there are now cheaper places to go to. This gives the HnJ a new exclusivity and keeps the riff raff out (you know who you are and I'm saying it as a compliment not a diss). However, this means that the HnJ will be dead for most nights of the week while everyone else is p****** it up in Pacos. The HnJ will have to raise their prices even more!

OR.... The HnJ lowers their prices to pre-refurbishment levels, everyone comes back including new clientele who have heard how reasonable the prices are and how much nicer it is in there than Pacos. Voila! The HnJ are quids in plus good ole Jaysun B is happy too. And Jaysun B is the nearest thing we have to a Catboy in Al Ain (is that a good thing????)

* For non-Al Ainites, HnJ stands for 'Horse and Jockey', the famous British-style pub in the Intercontinental Hotel.


Just had an e mail in from a matey on this subject. She has Jaysun B's word on this matter, he posted this on the HnJ forum a couple of weeks ago:

"I will tell you though, that, as a policy of the H&J, we will not
stoop to our Hotel competitors desperate attempts to keep on slashing
prices to attract more people. We do have a more superior venue,
with a brand new extension and lay out, superior entertainment
including all the live sporting events and an exceptional service
that is provided by our very experienced colleagues plus much more on
offer here at the H&J"

So there you go folks, they're staying upmarket and keeping the prices.

Taxi's opinion: put the prices back to pre-refurbishment levels and everyone will be happy. The HnJ was always dearer than Pacos back then but nobody minded so much.

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Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

As long as they don't put lemon butter on the steaks! Turns a good piece of cow into a bad piece of fish!

11/22/2006 06:21:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally got to the H n J after reading your post and am wondering if you have been in the Al Ain taxi for too long by stating that the H n J is now reflective of the current year.

My high expectations of having a cool bar in Al Ain were sorely dashed.

I walked in and expected Ted Danson to say my name, with the wine, salmon and camel colourings the place is uglier than before. Those painted brown tables are a disgrace.

Is there no one in Al Ain who can exert some interior design skill post 1982.

May as well put the lemon on the steak it will go with the salmon seating, very diappointed.

12/08/2006 07:24:00 pm  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

It's still an improvement though, don't you agree? Anyway, I'm stuck in the 80s... Anyone for a can of Tab?

12/10/2006 07:39:00 pm  

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