Little corner of Manhattan close at hand in the Bay

WHILE New York City was being pummelled by Hurricane Sandy this week, with scenes of the Big Apple’s streets turned into Venetian-like waterways, there was, believe it or not, a dry bit of Manhattan to be found. Closer than you think in fact.

Actually, if you live in Nelson Mandela Bay you would have located it without the help of a canoe or jetski – even though the metro has had its fair share of Sandy-like torrential rain (if not a hurricane) in recent weeks.

It’s a cosy little spot called Manhattan’s in Westbourne Road which is chic, slick and compact in the vein of many a New York cocktail bar, with which the City Slukker is very familiar since he spent the good part of a year (in fact, a very good year) in that now very wet metropolis some years ago.

With some pavement seating and even a red strip of carpet to welcome you, the bar immediately sets the right tone which is carried through in the interior with a row of elaborate, sparkling chandeliers that create an excellent ambience.

This is backed up by a mural Manhattan skyline, an imposing piece of art, and two massive wall mirrors on one side which serve to create a spaciousness in what is otherwise a very snug establishment.

The slukker has always been highly satisfied with the service here. Whenever he has walked in, no matter how busy, he has immediately been greeted and asked what he would like to tackle his thirst. Being a sophisticated cocktail bar, you can expect a range of fancy concoctions from which to choose – to say nothing of selection of snazzy shooters – along with a list of lagers, ciders and wine. And all served in classic styled glasses to add even more class to the equation.

There is also an excellent Happy Hour special on the slukker’s preference of a 500ml Castle draught – just R13, which compares very favourably when you consider that you’re now paying over 20 bucks at many beachfront pozzies.

While not an eatery as such, Manhattan’s does offer light munchies in the form of a choice of snack platters, seasonal salad and croissants.

For its limited space, there’s also plenty of seating, both at the bar counter – which features an intriguing abstract ornament as a centrepiece – and at scattered high tables.

The ablutions (CS is always sure to check) are consistently top notch – modern and spotlessly clean. This is an upmarket, chill-out zone where you will see familiar faces about town – CS bumped into Buli G and her brother Viv Bozack the other evening. As relaxed a sluk den as you’ll find anywhere in the Bay.

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