The latest addition (opened July 2018) to Rosebank's buzzing Park Corner, which now has no fewer than seven independent bars and restaurants from which to choose, A Street Bar Named Desire stands out from the crowd with its plush emerald green interiors and expansive first floor terrace overlooking Art Gallery Row on Jan Smuts Avenue.
From the deep jade-green walls and plush couches to the velvet fringed barstools that line the marble topped bar and fantastic sapphire-coloured day beds on the deck upstairs, the look and feel is casual luxury with a playful edge embodied by quirky sketches of a young Marlon Brando and offbeat photos inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's 1950s thrillers hanging on the walls.
The staff are fun, friendly and just the right side of flirtatious without forgetting that the most important part of the job is making sure you get a good cocktail. Drinks are named for lines and scenes from the Tennessee Williams play (perk up after a long day with The Kindness of Strangers made with gin, lime juice, bitters and spiced rhubarb) while the fragrant flavours reflect the floral spiciness typically found in the Middle East like cumin, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, hibiscus, rosehip and orange blossom water. A particular highlight is Them Apples (vodka, cloudy apple juice, lime and cardamom syrup) while classics like the Negroni and Old Fashioned also feature.
It's also worth bringing an appetite with you to work your way through the tapas menu, also inspired by Turkish, Israeli and Lebanese cuisines. Stand out items include the neatly-presented small plate of harissa marinated sirloin (served with a just-so tart preserved lemon chimichurri), succulent pork fillet skewers, the highly snackable fried artichoke hearts and chunky Spanish chorizo and manchego croquettes. Vegetarians will also be happy to see almost 20 different meat-free bar snacks and tapas plates to choose from.
If you are here for after-work drinks, the great news is you can now even enjoy those on a Monday (a Joburg rareity!). Head upstairs early and find a stool in front of the bar overlooking the street to catch the sun setting over Joburg's western suburbs.