Enter through The Container in the front, stay for the music and cocktails in the back. This gem is giving the arts and culture scene in Accra a new look.
With the Year of Return coming to a close, we are sharing the best of the best with our TIA fam and the 40 000+ visitors that will be traveling to Ghana in the coming weeks. From cocktails and food, to dancing and dining, there is something for everybody in Accra. We’re here to help you find it.
First stop is Front/Back in Osu.
Front/Back is one of the few members-only club in Ghana, and the only one with an active nightlife scene. They have been running for nearly three years and have garnered an amazing reputation for their world-class cocktails created and served by award-winning mixologists. And it is the only club that is built out of a container.
Considering the reputation it has, you would imagine an exterior to match it. However, that isn’t exactly the case for Front/Back. From the outside, the club’s design is relatively average (and I’m being nice). But once you enter, you walk into a completely new world.
Front/Back is made up of about 40 artisans who design the space. From the ceilings to the tables to the chairs, even down to the finest details on the windows, everything is made by artisans. Front/Back is the brainchild of Tarek Mouganie, who brought together the 40 artisans to not only decorate the space but also showcase their work. “The main idea behind it is to try to create jobs for people. In terms of these 40 artisans, they produce the work they do here and we sell it here. Everything you see in this space is up for sale. In the long run, it becomes a win-win situation as well,” explained Kojo Aidoo, manager of Front/Back. All of the pieces in Front/Back have been carefully selected and curated for this space in hopes of elevating local artists and the larger Ghanaian community.
The design truly is exceptional. Every room has its own unique vibe. You can fall in love with the profound photo series on the walls, pick up a novel out of their African-themed library, or play a board game alongside cocktails for extra fun.
And it’s not just the artwork that is inspired by artists. Have a look at the menu and you’ll find their drinks named after African artists as well. “For instance, [for our series] Art Soul, we had conversations with each [and every one of the] artists, and found out what kind of drinks they prefer, their [favourite] spirit base and then our amazing bar team innovatively created these cocktails. So on our menu, you will find cocktails named after Artsoul Kojo, Godfried Donkor, and Florine Démosthène.”
The flavours of the cocktails are diverse and delicious, but we were really sold by the actual display of the cocktails – almost artworks in themselves. The ArtSoul Kojo, for example, was served in a sculpted wooden cup with a chocolate that wonderfully complemented the spices in the cocktail. As a gin-lover, I was floating in Idriss, where the Tanqueray Gin was beautifully balanced by the berries and basil.
Once we built up enough of an appetite, we dove into their food. We loved how their menu was also Ghanaian-inspired, which made it easy to enjoy local favourites like their Kelewele, Waakye and Jollof Bowls.
With a space so vibrant, Front/Back is surely not to be missed. You can drop by on Jazz Night where their resident band, Backers Jazz Quartet, who play live every Thursday. Well-loved musicians, such as Trigmatic, Ria Boss, Susan Augustt and Betina Quest, have performed at the venue in recent months as well, making the Front/Back a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. They also have varied book readings and talk shows throughout each week. Over the weekends, the club lights up with people from all over Accra hitting up the dancefloor and rocking to the beats with an impressive line-up of DJs including DJ Pizaro, Isaac Cool and Vim Tinz.
If you are lucky to be in town this December, you will definitely want to keep an eye out for their holiday themed parties. These are occasionally opened to non-members for an entree fee, and if they are anything like their Halloween Haunted House party, be prepared for some of the best parties of the year.
Located in Osu, Accra.
Using Uber: Look up ‘The Container Accra’
Photography by Elroy Salam | @elroy_salam
Video by Owuraku Jedidiah | @owuraku.jedidiah
Rhausy Sowah | @_lemonyy
Agnes-Cybil Atsuah | @nomadthesystem