This place has closed.
On the road one the way down from town heading towards Kimihurura lies a peculiar little place that has been dubbed the ‘Gas Station Bar’ by some friends and I. The tiny place looks more like a glorified bus shelter than a bar/restaurant but they have a full menu, cold beer (Rwf 1,000) and several tables – so I guess it qualifies! True, you have to take a short hike to the Engen next door if you want to pee… but that’s not that much to ask, is it?
The menu is pretty extensive with burgers, spaghetti bolognaise and the usual salads offered up alongside beef, fish and goat brochettes and even rabbit! The menu is in French and the servers speak French and Kinyarwanda so come prepared for a bit of pointing and miming if you’re an English speaker.
My friend’s cheeseburger (Rwf 3,000) was huge and looked like a freakin’ cartoon. That’s a good thing, by the way. The bun was all puffy and yummy looking, there was lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and a special sauce poking out the sides, and the burger itself was big and delicious and it came with a huge pile of decent chips. My fish brochettes (Rwf 3,000) were a little dry but I liked that they had tomato and onion on the stick as well.
For a bar that’s sandwiched between two busy main roads and a gas station, Le Griffon has a surprisingly good atmosphere. It’s small, but there’s a separate bar area to the side if you want to avoid the bar and TVs and have a chat and a meal. But the bar area is lively and people seem friendly. While I was there they showed an Australian Open match and one of the Africa Cup of Nations games on the two large TVs so if you’re into sports it’s a good place to hang out and watch.
Service was really friendly and fast! This place is so small I’m amazed they have a kitchen at all, but they busted out our burger and fish brochette orders in less than a half an hour. Servers are pretty attentive but I guess it’s hard not to be when they can only ever be a few metres away from you.
The music is loud so you don’t really notice the traffic noise, the gas station fumes must waft in the other direction because I didn’t notice any petrol smells, and car fumes weren’t an issue, either. Ok, I’m making this place sound super dodgy but it’s not! I like it. I think I’ll start hanging out here more often.