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“Great view, but a great disappointment.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Joe Cool's

Joe Cool's
137 Lower Marine Parade | North Beach, Durban, South Africa
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Ranked #230 of 375 Restaurants in Durban
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Kuwait City
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Great view, but a great disappointment.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

I first visited Joe Cools in 1997 and the again in 2000... What used to be a bustling well run spot has sadly taken a nose dive...

I went in to watch the rugby on screen on a Saturday morning - to find 35 other people spectators already there. Despite this and the brisk trade being made on beer and breakfasts, the rugby commentary was turned off and loud music put on by the DJ. Cue the queue of rugby fans walking out and the bar emptying.

Food was ok, beer was bottled and cold but the atmosphere and cleanliness both in the bar and on the deck had the feel of uncleaned nightclub after a busy night the night before.

Joe Cools has just about the best views and location right on the Indian Ocean. Just a pity that service doesn't match its views.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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42 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    14
    5
    8
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
-
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“I wish I could say something nice...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

But I really can't. My partner chose us a seat on sunset, on the terrace overlooking the ocean (which was nice -there we go!) and as we had not been greeted at the door I went to ask for a menu. I stop by the reception counter for 15minutes, making eye contact with every member of staff who looked my way, but was ignored, even when they came within arm's-distance of me.
Finally I made my way across the bar and approached a waiter, he ignored me, a second waiter asked if I had been served. I said no and could I please have a menu, he was friendly and provided me with one, asked where I was sitting and told me he would be out soon.
I sat down, my partner and I enjoyed the sunset and talking, and after about 5 minutes our waiter found us and took a drink order. We ordered two ciders with ice, and another 5 minutes later were presented with two Smirnoff-Vodka-RTDs. Luckily he had not opened them, so we quickly told him he was mistaken, these were not ciders and could we please have a cider such as Hunters or Savannah. His face immediately darkened. He told us that the Vodkas were already on the computer so he could not change them. After some debate he left, returned 10minutes later and told us what a mission it had been for him to find a manager to change the drinks of the computer, and that we would have to pay for the price of the vodkas, which were more expensive. We said this was not acceptable, however remained pleasant (we truly are not the hard-to-please, complaining type) and asked for some lemon and the bill please, stating that we wouldn't stay for a meal. He returned ten minutes later, threw the lemon and bill down, was unresponsive when we tried to make friendly conversation and looked at us like scum, even after we tipped (against our better judgement).
My partner used to live in Durban between 1996 and 2002 and said there used to be a real vibe at this bar. Unfortunately the only vibes we got were bad ones.
Avoid this bar, it simply is not worth the effort.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Seville, Spain
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great view!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

It is a good place for salads and pizza. Nice view, just in front of the beach. You have to wait may be too long for you order, but I think this is normal in South Africa. No problem at all.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“HUGE disappointment”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

I wish I could give it a 0 out of 5. Upon getting there,you couldn't really tell if the place was open or not. The staff were standing around lazilly and you could see that they looked irritated that you decided to come and spoil their standing around. Upon waiting 15 minutes for our drinks,while being the only people there,we decided not to even try the food. The cocktail was served in a chipped wineglass. Won't go there again. We tried the restaurant next door, Zacks, what an absolute pleasure.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Location is the only saviour”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

If this place was anywhere else than on the beach front, it would have been closed down long ago. It used to be a great beach restaurant and fun hangout and can still be. They do need to up their game though. The last three times I went to Durban I visited Joe Cool's, in the hope that they would return to former glory, but my last visit was the last to this venue.

Everything on the menu has gone from great to very average, but what put me off the most, is that the place is getting dirtier every time. dirty floors, tables, seating etc - and it doesn't seem to bother anyone working there. May a whole new coat of paint and redo of interior is necessary.

Visited April 2014
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