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Ex-Servicemen's Institute Bar

29 Bristol Street, Colombo 1

At Rs 260, the Ex-Serviceman's Institute Bar (open to all) is as cheap as beer gets. Its all male clientele is actually quite well-mannered.

by Daniel Alphonsus

Fort, the heart of Colombo (which thanks to a bypass in the form of the Dutch Hospital is now happening again) also has the cheapest beer in the country. At 190 bucks (20 rupees above retail), the Ex-Serviceman's Club (open to all) is as cheap as it gets. Minus marks for its all male clientele and grottiness, but beggars can't be choosers.

The service has its moments and the kadalai and other bites are cheap as well (e.g. 35 rupees for a portion of kadalai with chilies). Cricket matches are shown on the televisions. Caveat emptor: none of the charm of Castle Hotel or the hole in the wall next to the Dutch Hospital (there aren't any swords, cannons or AK-47s for that matter) but perhaps the closest to a 'decent' dodgy bar you can find.


Hit this place up for pre-drinks on a night out around Fort and Colpetty.


29 Bristol Street, Colombo 1


Turn left from Sir Baron Jayathilaka Mawatha onto Bristol Street, then look out for a small chain link fence towards the end of the road.



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Open 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

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