From the moment you walk into this De Waterkant establishment, you feel like you’ve arrived. Not in the pretentious way (where someone takes your coat and you’re ushered to your table), but in a way that the warm and cosy ambiance feels like home.
High, classic Cape Dutch ceilings, dark wood floors and dimmed lighting set the perfect mood for an evening of amazing cocktails and moreish tapas. Tiny round tables dotted here and there conjure scenes of 1950s New York martini bars, while the alcove bar sports an elite selection of spirits, with mixologists who take pride in their craft.
On the night The Insiders visited, the Manouche band were playing – vintage mic in hand – entertaining the crowd with toe-tapping, gypsy jazz-style tunes. If you’ve watched Casablanca, and yearn to be seated at a stage-facing table while a rat-pack band sets the house on fire, then Piano Bar is for you.
Even though this upmarket watering hole is inspired by a bygone era, the vibe is quintessentially Cape Town. The wraparound terrace enjoys views through De Waterkant village to Devil’s Peak, with sails coming down during winter to protect against the cold. The service is good, and the cocktails to die for. As delicious as the appetisers were, the entrées were a little disappointing, reaffirming Piano Bar’s status as more of a bar than a restaurant.
Check out the programme of upcoming performances and book your table (well) in advance to avoid disappointment.
Looking for more after-work drinks options? Check out our list of the best sundowner spots in Cape Town.