1. The staff greets the guest warmly immediately upon arrival. (A big plus if it’s the owner of the bar that does the greeting)! ✔
2. When ordering a whisky, the staff asks intuitively, “Without ice?” ✔
3. And adds to that, “Glass of water on the side?” ✔
4. Upon serving the glasses of whisky and water neatly on a coaster (advertising an upcoming cool local music festival), the staff strikes up a conversation, smiling, with “How did you hear about us?” ✔
5. The staff is not only interested and grateful to hear your story, but informs you they’re working on getting more whiskies, special bottlings, older stuff, to total about 100 different whiskies. ✔
6. Service should be polite, attentive, appreciative and friendly, and not just to you the obvious whisky fanatic, but to all guests. ✔
7. The staff, (owner in this case), sits with an obvious regular guest since it’s not yet too busy, catching up and sharing stories of the day; and still not missing a beat, serves all guests equally, as if we are all regulars. ✔
8. Eventually, quickly, guests get comfortable with each other reflecting and following the lead of the staff/owner’s hospitality. ✔
9. Handshakes and names exchanged, new friends now, guests looking forward to their next visit to this great bar, and meeting up again over a few drinks. ✔
10. And yes of course, prices should be reasonable, atmosphere must be clean and organized, and seating outside certainly a plus for those summery nights. ✔
And that’s exactly what I experienced at the Cobra Bar and Gallery. “You’re only a stranger but once” is certainly a genre here. Hats off to Fitim for creating, almost 20 years ago, the Cobra Bar.
So the hunt is finally over after finding the Cobra Bar. No need to continue looking for a nice place to enjoy a nice whisky, with a great staff, at reasonable prices, I finally found it. And as for bringing your friends that aren’t as crazy as you are about whisky: a nice selection of beers, cocktails, (seems it’s what they’re known for), and other drinks come easy here too. And unless you tell your friends, they probably won’t realize you’re there for the whisky, they’ll just think it’s a great bar, period. As for the name, I’ll let you figure that one out.
Visit the Cobra Bar at Karthuizerstraat in downtown Brussels.