Mein Host Mike

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Monday, 25th May 2015

What is life without one’s local to repair to at the end of a long day? To relax by having a happy chat with one’s friends whilst sipping a reviving toot? To catch up on local affairs and sound off about the latest political outrage or price increases? A decent pub is crucial to enhancing life in a charming provincial city. It is here that one finds liquid ubuntu, soothing to the soul.

In Grahamstown, Champs is a pub where satisfaction is guaranteed. Mike Theron is a publican of note who runs a tight ship. The host with the most. Baba Dindindi – the Father of the Party, as he is known to his Zimbabwean patrons. A self confessed trance addict, Mike is a veritable people’s person with an ear finely tuned to his customer’s needs and preferences and it is this that makes Champs one of Grahamstown’s most popular and best loved watering holes.

Professionalism is de rigeur. The bar is well run by a posse of attractive young people who are completely on the ball. In these times of economic adversity, the prices at Champs are reasonable and service is exemplary with a warming personal touch.

The atmosphere at Champs is tremendous. Serious pool is played by dedicated punters. At the long bar, people are comfortable and chilled and laughter resounds throughout. Champs has The Throb! Those cheerful rhythms that resonate when people are at one with themselves and each other and letting it all hang out.

A distinctive feature of Champs is the diversity of its clientele. It is frequented by a healthy cross section of locals, postgraduate students and an eclectic mix of interesting and alternative people. In fact some of the most fascinating conversations take place at good old Champs. It is a venue for a type of osmotic education – one always comes away having learned something new or having been given a new angle on old issues. One can imbibe with an old Eastern Cape character and be immersed in amazing local history and bush lore or listen agog to a physicist sharing the wonders of his latest research. And the ladies room is always alive with girlish bondings!

Local musicians love Champs because this is Grahamstown’s ultimate venue for live music. A complete range of genres is generated by local talented musicians and the place is packed frequently with their enthusiastic fans who party up a storm and dance the night away.

Also on tap is a range of very good pub grub which is customer friendly in price and highly recommended. In particular the Vension Red Wine Stew. Way to go! The good old fashioned fish and chips also go down a treat, as does the excellent coffee.

Visitors to Grahamstown are delighted by the ambience and fabulous people they meet at Champs. Thus it has an enviable reputation, is a veritable melting pot during the National Arts festival and does Grahamstown proud. Well done Mike!

KJ Guteridge