Stars N Bars is a Monaco based, American themed bar-restaurant franchise, which comes to Dubai via Abu Dhabi where some say it vies for the top spot as the best sports bar in the Middle East (if not the world). SNB takes on a more laid back, Californian surfer dude approach for Dubai. Located at the extreme, northern end of Meraas’s beautiful La Mer, SNB is spread out over two floors; the upper floor, with a lovely half enclosed veranda, full bar and a small stage, is the place to go. Bar, view and beautiful people aside, the other reason you want to be upstairs are those amazing funk jam specialists, Carl & The Reda Mafia who, on the nights they perform there, will have your feet tapping, bum swinging and head nodding throughout the night.
The interior of SNB reminded me a lot of some of the higher-end bar-restaurants I would visit in San Diego, but with a distinct Island touch; similar to the new Trader Vic’s in JBR, minus the Polynesian voodoo. Of course, in keeping with its sports bar roots, there are screens all over the place but rather than playing sports, they were on an endless loop of tanned surfers riding the biggest damn waves imaginable, and young, bikini-clad blonds frolicking around beaches and diving off cliffs into blue lagoons. There’s a wall made up of the coolest surf-board beer dispensing machines I have ever seen. I can imagine myself and a beer buddy hanging out there…forever.
The fact that the food, especially the burgers, did not live up to SNB’s reputation is disappointing but not a show-stopper. One must bear in mind that this is their opening week. It’ll take a little time to get everything clicking. I’ve included our receipt for you to see what we ordered but also to note their novel suggestions on gratuity, something I am seeing for the first time.
I didn’t finish my Hell Yeah burger, which was good but not nearly as good nor as spicy as I was led to expect. The similarly priced Wagyu Burger I had at Jones the Grocer in Emirates Hill the day before was miles better. And not everyone at our table was as appreciative as I was about the black buns our burgers were served in, cool as they were. The girls, however, seemed more than happy with whatever salad they ordered.
If SNB stumbled a little where food was concerned, it clawed back its advantage with the friendliest service this side of Monaco. From greeting to goodbye, everyone at our table of 22 to 70-year-olds agreed service was excellent. Everyone also walked out, not just with a big smile on their faces, but looking forward to coming back. So, irrespective of where you are in Dubai, SNB is a bar-restaurant you will want to visit. I certainly will.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.