According to Sacha Daniel, the group operations manager for Solutions Leisure, District will change its Mediterranean food menu every week. He comments: “Our new food menu will be released at the start of the week on our social media platforms and website, and will go live on the first business day of the week.”
The menu will always have a soup of the day, starter of the day and fish of the day, with a vegetarian and vegan option. The menu consists of seven starters, eight main courses, four desserts and one cheese.
Daniel adds: “We always use fresh ingredients exploring the entire Mediterranean area. Our cocktails are refreshing and innovative, with a few twists on classics. We have a large selection of Aperol Spritz themed cocktails in addition to a wide variety of gins.”
Freshly open in May 2019 is District: a bar, lounge and bistro, sitting in the heart of Rixos Premium Dubai JBR. The concept is the latest from the stable of Solutions Leisure – behind the likes of Dubai’s staples Q43, Lock, Stock & Barrel and more – and has replaced its previous brand in that location: Inner City Zoo.
Solutions Leisure’s group operations director, Sacha Daniel, comments on the decision: “Inner City Zoo was purely a night club opened from 11pm to 3am. Being situated in the Rixos lobby wasn’t the ideal location and we soon realised that the demographics in JBR do love their food and neighbourhood hangouts. With the magnificent view over the sea and the Ain Dubai, it was an easy choice to make.” He adds that the idea is for District to be a hub that includes the elements of a small bar with a modern edge.
Continuing with the parent company’s ethos of accessibility, District blends upmarket cocktail culture, with the familiarity of an approachable, unassuming bar. The bar forms the central focus within the minimalist space; guests can perch there on the high tables or head for the sofas in the raised lounge area, or go upstairs to the raised area. They can also check out the terrace with views of the Arabian Gulf and JBR precinct. The venue was designed by Broadway Interiors and Freek Teusink, the creative director at Solutions Leisure. Inside the venue across all areas, the seating capacity is around 200. The venue will have live music twice a week, a combination of artists and acts, in addition to a resident DJ.
Daniel says that District exudes “effortless class and sophisticated modernism” and adds that it is “a traditional cocktail hideaway created for the cocktail aficionado”. The idea for District is to be a local hangout for residents, which changes function through the course of the day. It will be open for lunch, afternoon drinks, sundowners overlooking the sunset on the sea, dinner and late-night drinks with cool vibes and live music.
The accessibility and approachability of the venue has meant that the team has to be equally engaging. Just under 50 people at the time of going to press, Daniel says: “We have selected very cool young kids with great personalities as we encourage them to engage with our customers.” Most of the team, he reveals, have worked in classic Dubai institutions and bistros/cafes. The venue’s food has been curated by Solution Leisure’s group executive chef, Rob Rathbone, while the manager of District is Adam Galbas.
The JBR area is competitive, and this is the second lease of life for that space with Solutions Leisure. Daniel, however, is confident that District is exactly what the area’s clientele needs. He says: “The weekly menu is new, different and exciting, coupled with the location overlooking great views of the sea, the Ain Dubai and a daily spectacular sunset. The entertainment will be a great addition to the venue and an integral part of it. At Solutions Leisure we have really grown our entertainment division as it is apparent that this is what our guests enjoy and helps retain custom.”
He continues: “Entertainment is now a key trend in the night life sector, and even in the daytime sector you could say. People now want the entire package when they go out. The ambiance, the value for money F&B, the live entertainment, great personal service, and more. District will offer exactly all that.”