If you spend some time in Kampala, you’ll likely end up at the ubiquitous Bubbles O’Leary, whether you want to or not. The crowd is diverse although it’s usually at least half ex-pats. In some ways it’s a typical Irish Pub, the go-to spot to unwind and sip a beer or party like the Mayans were right about 2012. It’s located on Acacia Avenue in the heart of Kololo. Surrounded by great restaurants and cafes, Bubbles makes a convenient after dinner destination. There’s a $2.5 cover at the door on weekends but the drinks are moderately priced and always cold.
Beer connoisseurs, don’t be fooled by the uniquely large selection of beer on tap. Unfortunately, the taps are for display only and draft Guinness is only available at the annual St. Patrick’s day shindig. Speaking of displays, rumor has it that Bubbles consists of the imported guts of a real-live Irish Pub. It’s surprisingly quaint and picturesque in the sober light of day with it’s wooden bar, small tables, chill deck and leafy patio. A little known secret is that during the day Bubbles serves lunch and offers free wifi. The pizza is superb.
At night Bubbles has something to offer everyone. Sports games often play on the patio projector. There’s pub food available like chips/fries and usually a meat shish kebab grill creating delicious smells outside. Singles mingle and chat at the deck tables. And the small dance floor inside gets raucous during the early morning hours. Bubbles is certainly not a club, but that’s kind of the appeal. It feels like a wedding reception, everyone dancing like fools in an unlikely place while the DJ spins mostly top of the charts pop music, creepy uncle not included. Although, watch the dance floor for pickpockets and weird guys with video cameras. Long rows of tequila shots abound as the night goes on. People dancing on speakers and tables and half naked Euro rugby teams are not unheard of on a busy night.
One of the best parts about Bubbles is the staff. They’re accommodating, thoughtful and always ready to make friends. New management has recently taken over, and although we miss the old crew, they’re great.
If you head to Bubbles you’ll have fun, likely meet cool people, and hopefully stay clear of any Irish inspired pub brawls. It can be a chill night or a wild party depending on what you make of it and the night of the week. Choose your poison wisely.
Hours: 12:00pm till late (past 4am on weekends)
Address: 30 Windsor Crescent
Phone: 0312 263 815