Big Mike’s Kampala: Cocktails as they should be

By The Pearl Guide

June 21, 2014

Big Mike’s is the quintessence of the modern cocktail bar in Kampala City. Located in the Kololo area, on Acacia Avenue, Plot no 19, Big Mike’s also offers culinary services and houses a night club. To most people, truth be told, they think they know about Big Mike’s but some have never stepped foot there since the old days when it was still under old management and was called “Latino Club”. Well things have changed since those days.

Big Mike's Cocktail Bar KampalaOn entrance into Big Mike’s, the first thing that captures your attention is the aura and class of the place from the well-lit and well stocked cocktail bar on your left to the revelers that flock the place who are either seated at the cocktail bar or in the cocktail bar lounge area that has comfortable leather seats and is incorporated with a pool table. Next to it on the right are high stools that offer different seating options for revelers. On your far left in between the cocktail bar lounge and the bar is the passage that leads to The Club. Next to it is the VIP lounge and just when you think “okay, this is a nice place”, on your immediate left as you move from the lounge area is a stair case that leads to The Yard (an outdoor bar area).

The Cocktail Bar

With an astonishing list of cocktails on their cocktail menu, supplemented by an impressive list of Bourbon Whiskies, Champagne, Flavored Vodka, Scotch and a range of fine cigars from the Dominican Republic stacked on the shelves in the well-lit cocktail bar, one is lost for choice on what cocktail to  order.

They don’t just stop at having the liquor; they actually serve premium quality cocktails. What impresses you the most at Big Mike’s isn’t just the premium liquors on offer but the distinguished, classy and friendly way everyone who works at the premises relates with the clients. Whether it’s your first or umpteenth time there, you will be treated the same and made to feel like you are the King. While seated at the bar sipping on an ‘Old Fashioned’ (20,000 UGX), a cocktail that has a strong and masculine taste to it, a woman walked up to the bar and handed Zilitwawula Ivan, the bar manager her purse. Ivan then asked her if she wanted ‘the usual’.

After she was gone I proceeded to ask Ivan;

“How long does it take you to know a clients favorite cocktail?” He explained to me “Usually it’s on the first meeting. Of course a couple of times you get clients who aren’t so familiar with cocktails so I recommend a cocktail I think they will fall in love with and it keeps them coming back”.

Big Mike's Cocktail Bar Kampala
With a well laid out cocktail and drinks menu, Big Mike’s has something for everyone. Whether its shots, iced teas, something sweet, not so sweet, ‘Big Mike’s sours’, classic martinis to Caribbean favorites, they have it all. But for those not familiar with their cocktails, I would recommend a Cosmopolitan (20,000 UGX), Mai Tai (22,000 UGX) or a Singapore Gin Sling (22,000 UGX) for the women. For the men, I would recommend you start with a Galliano Hotshot (10,000 UGX) which looks impressive on the eye but tastes even better once you do a ‘bottoms up’ on it. With three layers of heavy cream, coffee and Galliano herbal liqueur, you take it and after a second you feel the layers go down your throat in quick procession one after the other. The Georgia Mint Julep (22,000 UGX) comes highly recommended too as well as the Old Fashioned (20,000 UGX).

Other drinks are standardly priced with local beers costing 6,000 UGX, imported beers start at 8,000 UGX for Windhoek, and Heineken costs 8,500 UGX.

With a newly revamped food menu, their restaurant offers reasonably priced meals with starters ranging between 8,000 UGX (Avocado & Pineapple Salad) – 18,000 UGX (Chicken Caesar Salad). Main courses range from 18,000 UGX for Penne Bolognese (Italian pasta with the classic Bolognese sauce) – 28,000 UGX for pork chops (Marinated pork chops served with side orders of your choice and gravy). They also offer burgers which range between 18,000 UGX for a Classic burger and with the most expensive being the Bacon burger (24,000 UGX). For those that fancy Pizzas, they range from 18,000 – 22,000 UGX.

After work as it should be

Big Mike’s has an expanse music menu coupled with theme nights for each day. For example: Sunday/Monday the theme is Radio Hits, Tuesdays its Funk & Soul, Wednesdays the theme is classic, modern & alternative Rock while on Fridays, they play House, Lounge and Dance music. But the theme nights that stand out from all these are Thursdays where they host a live band & party where Janzi Band, in a well-organized ensemble, entertain the crowd to live hits down in The Yard from 7PM – 10PM.

The Yard with its wooden benches and tables also doubles as a convenient place for all soccer fans to catch up on that weekend ball game probably between Arsenal and Tottenham or it could be that baseball match between the Boston Red Sox and the Cardinals. It also acts as a venue for birthdays, wedding party meetings or you can even hold a corporate event there since it has a total capacity of 300 people.
Big Mike's Cocktail Bar Kampala

Fait Accompli

Laser beams whoosh above the crowd as the huge sound system thumps out trouser-shaking bass while the DJ (Vicky) is enthroned in his DJ box, his subjects in thrall to the beat. Welcome to Soul Train Uganda “The Hippest Trip in Music”. Conceptualized by Super standard Stockholm AB honoring the longest running music program in television history, Soul Train is held every month at Big Mike’s. The folks at Soul Train Uganda have made this your private party. Revelers are encouraged to come clad in full 70’s & 80’s costume whereas DJ Vicky and his compatriots promise to deliver the hippest tracks since the 70’s to date. The music played ranges from 70’s, 80’s oldies & Disco music.

Save the date

Soul Train Uganda takes place every last Friday of the month at Big Mike’s.

Big Mike’s provides premium/standard quality cocktails as they should be. Make it a point to pay them a visit to prove it for yourself.

Big Mike's Cocktail Bar Kampala

Need to Know

Big Mike’s Cocktail Bar, Restaurant is open Monday – Wednesday: 5PM-1AM, Thursday – Saturday: 5PM – 3AM & Sunday: 5PM – 1AM. The nightclub is open Thursday – Saturday from 5PM – 2AM.

To keep up with the latest happenings/ events and additions at Big Mike’s, you can visit their website:
Like them on Facebook
Mobile: +256 (0) 705 360 001/ +256 (0) 778 360 002

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