It’s all downhill from here

For a long time now, Mbargos has been the place that would never let you down. Fed up of the “one in, one out” rant coming from Pam Pam’s, many people would gladly stumble drunkenly over to Mbargos with spirits still high.

Yes, Mbargos is just a bar, a bar with expensive drinks and the same type of music playing every night, but like an old friend you could always depend on it for a good night out.

Wednesday nights in particular used to be the pinnacle, helped by the hundreds of sports team members out for socials. So, when it came to choosing where to go for her twenty first birthday, a Wednesday at Mbargos seemed the obvious choice for my housemate.

We arrived at around half eleven and were delighted to all be let in for free. After a successfully lavish pre-drinks, saving a few quid on entry was a bonus for this group of five tipsy, giggly girls.

The Birthday girl

The Birthday girl

Upon entering we noticed how quiet the bar was but didn’t think too much of it. However, it wasn’t long until the night began to take a turn for the worse. The cloakroom was closed, so instead we had to pass our coats over a Jäger-soaked bar.

Next was a trip to the toilet. We’re girls after all, and the relatively sparse crowd meant we could experience the thrill of an empty loo and the chance for an unlimited number of bathroom selfies.

Taking advantage of the empty loos

Taking advantage of the empty loos

Once we had re-applied make up, updated our Snapchat story and told each other how much we loved each other we headed back out onto the dancefloor. Which, to our dismay, was still pretty much empty.

As it was our friend’s birthday we made as much of the night as we could and hoped there was nothing a few drinks couldn’t fix. However, the attitude of the bar staff every time we ordered seemed rude and the usual club photographer could never be found when we wanted him. So much for a party atmosphere.

When it reached 2am, we realised the bar was never going to fill up. An attempt to go out into the smoking area was met with the bouncers telling us we could only leave if we weren’t coming back in. Odd given we were the only income the bar seemed to be getting that night. But then, maybe they just all wanted to go home early: that’s what the DJ did.

After our attempt to request a song ended with the proverbial door being slammed in our faces, the DJ disappeared half an hour early. To see us through to closing time, he left a pre-made playlist running of music that is best described as shit. As nobody else was going to do anything about it, the birthday girl thought she’d salvage the night and try her hand at being a DJ.

Mbargos new and improved DJ

Mbargos new and improved DJ

When the time came to leave, even the simple task of retrieving our coats from behind the bar was met with a frosty reception by the people working there. No wonder Mbargos just isn’t drawing the crowds anymore if that’s how they treat their customers. When faced with a choice between the claustrophobic spaces of Pam Pam’s, the sticky floor of Bunker, or Mbargos, it wouldn’t be a surprise if nobody’s really picking the latter any more.

It might seem odd to declare a venue is in permanent decline based on one night, but let’s face it: all Mbargos ever had was the fact you could spend a couple of hours there before heading somewhere better once the queue had gone down. Now, staying outside in the queue actually seems better.

Happier days at Mbargos

Happier days at Mbargos