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4/5

Government Service Sports Club

2/16 Baseline Road, Colombo 5

  • Closed right now


Serving the best handallo in town, the GSSC is a dodgy bar with cheap drinks and decent patrons.



One of Colombo's best dodgy bars is, without a doubt, the Government Service Sports Club. Hidden behind the Baseline Road, a large crumbling building opens out onto a ramshackle garden scattered with a handful of metal chairs, plastic tables and a few melancholy cats looking to scrounge the crumbs off some fallen handallo. A teetering wall of stacked soda bottles lines the edge of the plot. Indoors are two rooms - one, a dim oblong drinking space with a blinking, static television, the other, a 'pool room' with low and lurid overhanging lights, an old pool table and, in our opinion the star of the club, a fantastically dusty, achingly antique snooker desk.

This is a magical piece of furniture. A blackboard-like rectangle sits at the centre of its upright back, and both above and below lie slim vaseline-coloured strips containing the numbers 0-20; in between are three stout lines spelling 'pink', 'yellow' and 'blue'. Colombo's dodgy bars can sometimes be home to amazing little pieces of furniture like this - big wooden fans, intricate lattices, the entire Castle Hotel building... It's easy to be distracted by the alluring antiquities that so befit their humble surroundings, to imagine a time when dodgy bars weren't actually so dodgy, where every shot glass was slammed down on a smooth wooden counter and where David Guetta didn't exist.

We don't know how long the Government Service Club has been around for - but this no star place offers absolutely five star service, hinting at a time before the birth of bouncer-guarded bastions like Kama and a nightclub culture that seems to ignore all aspects of good service.

If you're tired of waiting to be served or being asked to leave for inappropriate attire, try the GSSC. It's chilled out, the drinks are cheap, and they treat you like kings. And the bites are delicious - crispy little fillets of handallo encased in shining, golden batter - delicious when salted with the juice of a lime - long crunchy fries sprinkled with scarlet chilli powder, and a 'special' meat that we'll say no more about... Go here if you want a relaxed drink in a large, breezy garden with waiters who are actually nice and genuinely seem to want you to have a good time.

TIP

Go with a group and grab a table indoors. You can't go wrong with the handallo.
All Reviews

GSSC is wala-level value for money, and the indoor seating has a charming ambiance, but you've got to get there early to grab a table.

One of the Colombo's best dodgy bars is, without a doubt, the Government Service Sports Club. Hidden behind the Baseline Road, a large crumbling building opens out onto a ramshackle garden scattered with a handful of metal chairs, plastic tables and a few mournful cats.

සිංහල අන්තිමට චන්දනයි මායි අවසාන ‘කාලත්’ ක්‍රියා කරල! තව පොඩ්ඩෙන් එතනම අභාවප්ප්‍රාප්ත වෙනව. වෙලාවට අපි වැටෙද්දි කලින් කට් වෙච්ච අය නැගිට්ටෙ.

සිංහල ‘‘කොහෙද බං සෙට් වෙන්නේ?’’ මම ඉමාඩ්ගෙන් ඇහුවා. ‘‘ටිකක් පරණ ප්ලේස් එකක් තියෙනවා බේස් ලයින් පාරෙ, ගවර්මන්ට් සර්විස් ස්පෝර්ට්ස් ක්ලබ් කියලා. එතෙන්ට යමු.’’ ඉමාඩ් කිව්වා.

සිංහල රාජ්‍ය සේවා ක්‍රීඩා සමාජය කොළඹ තිබෙන පහළ පෙළේ බාර් අතරින් හොඳම එක බව සැකයක් නැහැ. බේස්ලයි්‍න් පාරේ විශාල දිරාපත් වෙමින් යන ‍ගොඩනැඟිල්ලක් පිටුපස සැඟවී තිබෙන එය විවෘත වන්නේ ගරාවැටුණ උද්‍යානයකටයි. එහි අතන මෙතන යකඩ පුටු කීපයකුත්, ප්ලාස්ටික් මේසත් තිබෙනවා. දුක්මුසු පෙනුමැති බළලුන් කීපදෙනෙක් මේසවලින් බිමට වටුණු හඳැල්ලන් අහුලා කනවා. එහා කෙළවරේ අබල දුබල තාප්පය දිගට සෝඩා බෝතල් ගොඩගහලා.

Address

2/16 Baseline Road, Colombo 5

Directions

It's on Baseline Road near the canal and the old Airtel office. If you turn right from Park Road onto Baseline Road, it's just after the canal (but on the opposite side of the road). It's on Thalakotuwa Gardens, the road that leads to AIS and Elizabeth Moir.

Report Inaccuracy

Closed right now

Price Range

Between Rs. 200 - Rs. 500

Dish Types

Pork Fish Bites

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
4
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
3

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