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“It's like a play in which you're the special guest.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Exchange Bar

Exchange Bar
Ranked #88 of 523 Restaurants in Nairobi
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Drinks, Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: History comes to life at The Exchange Bar, once the site of Nairobi's first Stock Exchange from 1954. In 1922, The Long Bar,the Stanley's precursor to The Exchange Bar, famously took delivery of the first ever order of Tusker beer from Kenya Breweries. The bar retains the feel of a traditional English Gentleman's club while exuding a casual elegance and warm atmosphere. A perfect place to enjoy a single malt whisky or sensational cocktails accompanied with a variety of bar snacks.
Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
71 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“It's like a play in which you're the special guest.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2014

When you deserve a perfectly self-indulgent experience after a business meeting scripted by Sartre, or a safari trip organized by an anti-colonialist seeking indirect revenge for our ancestors' collective wrongdoings, stop in at the Exchange Bar. At first, I felt like had walked on stage to a recreation of an Edwardian period gentleman's club; and frankly, I checked myself to see if I was properly dressed. But as soon as we were welcomed by a genuinely smiling hostess (Beatrice) and settled into comfortable leather wingback chairs, we realized that this place was made to welcome and refresh weary travellers without judgement.

I have spent several afternoons sipping Coke Light or Tusker, simply drinking in the coziness and recharging my soul's batteries. The acoustics of the bar are designed to allow either quiet meditation or private conversations. You feel as though you have been transported back to the time when the Nairobi Stock Exchange conducted civil trade over gin and tonics (quite good top shelf selections) and a cigar (fortunately, although they have cigars on display, they don't allow smoking.

An after-dinner drink following a meal at the Thai Chi (also great) or nearby Andy's (or dare I say, even the Hilton down the way) was delightful, as there was a quiet piano player providing jazz lullabies to accompany our Drambuie and Talisker (each to one's own).

Forget the hurry, let the clocks on the wall displaying multiple time zones remind you that you're ahead of time somewhere. Watch the row of palm frond fans swish back and forth lazily. And know you are in good hands, welcome to stay as long as you like, and that you will be greeted when you return like a friend.

I wish more hotel bars were like this. Thank you, Ravi (or was it Razi - I was too busy relaxing to pay attention) for keeping a watchful eye on a great staff, having the bar well stocked, and, well, just Directing one of the longest running feel-good plays in East Africa.

And please.. restock the Port supply with some 10 year old ruby for my friend, Tom...stored at a proper temperature, of course.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank winxalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    12
    3
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
306 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“a nice place to relax for food and drinks”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

This is a very nice bar that has good food and a large selection of beer and cocktails. It is a very classy place with very cozy chairs and great servers. We stayed here all afternoon relaxing and eating before leaving for our long flight back to the U.S.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank brentsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Exchange Bar, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Brentsf,

Thank you for taking the time to visit us at the Exchange Bar and posting your most complimentary review.

we are very glad that you enjoyed the service and comfort of the bar.

The Exchange Bar is rich in tradition and history, taking this into account we aim to provide all our guests with an experience that reflects the rich tradition.

Looking forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abuja
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent and customer focussed service!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

Thanks to The Exchange Bar team Ben, Beatrice, Robert and Richard for a memorable week. Keep up the good work!!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Dennis Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Exchange Bar, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Dear Dennis Z,

Many thanks for you choosing to visit the Exchange Bar, enjoy its services, and post your most complimentary review on our team there.
Your comments have been passed on to each individual mentioned and their efforts have been recognised.

Many thanks, certainly looking forward to welcoming you back.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Tuskers...Baridi!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

I learned that baridi is cold in Kiswahili, and that not everyone in the world drinks their beer cold...some drink it moto (hot-but really room temperature!) A very enjoyable business casual bar with old old world charm.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank CanadaFran4kenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Exchange Bar, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Dear Canadafran4Kenya,

Thank you for taking the time to visit our Exchange Bar and review its services.
It is highly appreciated that you enjoyed the charm and character of the Bar, which indeed, has a legacy of its own.

We look forward to your next visit, cold Tuskers await your arrival.

Warm Regards,
Davi Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
405 reviews
198 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Pleasant Refuge”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2013

Reminiscent of Raffles Long Bar in Singapore to a degree. But good food and wine. Lots of locals here and expats and tourists. Some bar staff can be initially surly, but overall a good place for an informal meal. Dined here twice in preference to the Thai restaurant, and we were not game enough to go out for a meal.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank anecessaryevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Exchange Bar, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Dear anecessaryevil,

Thank you for taking the time to review your dining experiences at The Exchange Bar.

Your comments on the good wine and food are greatly received.
We are glad you enjoyed your meals and certainly look forward to welcoming you once again.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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