Listen up businessmen and ballers, here are the best places to seal the deal...
For those times when a formal midday conference meeting in the hustle bustle of your office simply won't do the trick; when you need to tip that stubborn client over the edge to seal a business deal or make a few points off the record over a tipple or two, it's important to set the right atmosphere. Here we run down some of the best bars in the city for an after-hours business meeting and how to handle yourself whilst doing it...
Library Bar - Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at First Residence
Quiet is of course imperative. Now you're not going to meet in an actual library, you're not going to go study together, you're a big boy! So the next best thing is the Four Season's Library Bar. Tucked away from the noise of the street, the space is floor-to-wall wood and offers up a range of Cuban and Domincan cigars. Nothing says I'm in control of the situation and your money than puffing away at a cigar in the corner table on your high chair, and high horse.
Tip - Know how to cut and smoke a cigar first, lest you be left coughing in the clients face.
Billiard Bar - Cairo Marriott Hotel
It's always impressive when you're taken to a venue you've never been before in this small town, and the Billiard Bar, hidden within the confines of the old palace, is very, very impressive. Think high ceilings, royal chairs and baroque finishings. Usually empty but for the soul bartender and the occasional piano player.
Tip - Act as if you own a minority stake in the place. You want it to seem like the bar is slightly more yours than your counterpart's. Treat the staff with respect, they're your assistants for the night.
Following a recent renovationn, the Cairo Tower restaurant and bar is perfect for that Russian spy meeting at an obscure, un-reachable location. The highest view in the city is bound to inspire "all this could be ours..." thoughts.
Tip - Let the client leave first, the elevator down will give him plenty of time to mull over your discussions without distraction.
Cairo Capital Club
The capital’s most sophisticated hangout located on the 19th floor is the original Cairene gentlemen's members' club that overlooks the whole city. With a huge range of gourmet fusion foods and premium drinks, this is the place to wine and dine them into your accounts. It's not a bribe if it comes out the other end.
Tip - All good things in moderation; the weaker your drink and the stronger his is, the stronger your position. You don't want to catch yourself slurring words and spilling drinks.
Upper Deck, Four Seasons Cairo Hotel at Nile Plaza
If your living room had a baby with a hotel bar lounge, you'd get Upper Deck. Overlooking the Four Season's pool, chomp away at top notch tapas whilst watching the football. Appropriate for a business meeting yet casual enough for the client to drop his guard.
Tip - Find out which team your client supports, learn about them and make passing comments about how Folaninhio is having a great season with one eye on the match.
The Barrel Bar, Windsor Hotel
Built at the turn of the last century as the baths of the Egyptian royal family, the Windsor Hotel served for many years as a colonial British officers' club. Windsor's famous Barrel Bar, with its faded grandeur and enduring beauty, goes to show that you don't need to break the bank to impress over a quiet drink, and perfect if you're meeting revolves around foreign investment... white people love a bit of Downtown Cairo culture.
Tip - Downtown as in Wust El Balad, not Downtown Katameya... that would be an awkward miscommunication.Jazz Bar, Kempinski
It's Beep Bap Badadadoo BeeBop Business time! Tones of cream and brown drape the Kempinski's 10th floor Jazz Bar, while an incredible Nile view and meticulous service set the tone for tipsy notes on a napkin. One day you'll look back and say, "it all started on a napkin."
Tip - Order your own drink because "I'll have the same," is weak. And make sure it's something you know. Don't hesitate and look through the menu.
Salt, The Gabriel Hotel
It looks like the setting of a Hollywood meeting of Mafia honchos. Elaborate blue velvet drapes, studded white chairs and crystal everywhere. The only people surrounding you are marble statues so this place is perfect for some dodgy under-the-table dealings, like you know, moving 10,000 kilos of kahk on the black market.
Tip - At the bar, three's a crowd! If you're meeting with more than one person, find a table. There's nothing more awkward than having to awkwardly communicate over someone's lap.
8, Four Seasons Nile Plaza
Aside from the fact that they serve up the best Cantonese cuisine in town, the number 8 in Chinese culture is an extremely lucky one and connotes affluence and prosperity. It'll be a good omen to make some dollah next to Buddah.
Tip - The eyes, the eyes, don't look around the eyes, look directly at the eyes. Nothing says you're hesitant, ashamed or intimidated like wandering eyes. So, look him in the eyes and say "Namaste here until we have a deal!"