The old port in Jaffa is a place of energy. The city, which is more than 2000 years old, cobbled streets polished with thousands of feet, amazing views of Tel Aviv, flamboyant schooners and fishermen, street musicians, graffiti and, of course, restaurants and bars. There is hardly a place in Tel Aviv without a cafe or bar. And then there’s an entire old port with its hangars and barracks. Why not to drag a cargo container into such a hangar and make a bar in it? Actually, there was no reason not to do it, so that’s why today I am writing about Container – a truly wonderful place, where I once snatched two shot glasses.
Not that it happened because I had an episode of kleptomania, I just do not remember how it happened. I remember that I was very upset after my dancing partner left, and I was drinking tequila. I tried, but failed to persuade the bartender to make some sangrita, so I drank without a co-sip. And in the morning I found two shot glasses in my bag. Okay, that’s not the point.
The old and the young visit Container. In Israel there is no such thing as not taking kids with you. Therefore, in most hard-core, in our opinion, bars you can find young parents with children. Luckily, Container is so spacious that you can ride a bike inside it, and after all it’s a port hangar, so you can sit far away from the happy parents with their kids. You can also go to the pier and watch how the sun falls into the water.
There is a small stage in the corner of the hangar, where musicians can perform from time to time. Last time it was a girl playing the violin and tap dancing. There are paintings of different genres on the walls; lighting is made by simple light bulbs on long cords. Cocktails are terra incognita, but do you really need them here? Many people scold Tel Aviv for having a bad taste, lacking style and being excessively relaxed in these matters, but if you look at it from the other side – isn’t it the very relaxation and simplicity that we’re talking about so much. You can come to the bar in slippers and jeans, climb onto a chair with your legs, while drinking gin and tonic and enjoying the sunset. The only thing here that is taken seriously is food. Whatever you order, portions will be huge and very delicious.
Container is good for everything and for everyone. Having an iced coffee with a friend at a table or sitting at the bar counter for an idle chatter, sipping, say, gin and tonic, seducing a handsome southerner, or listening to the unfamiliar songs. The main thing is to be patient, because the bartenders here are often as relaxed as you are, and maybe even more.
The Old Port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv
Mon-Sat 10:00 a.m. – 01:00 a.m.
Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m. – 01:00 a.m.
Gin tonic, vodka tonic – 10$