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Bar Review

Everything Is Awesome at Lekka

Henderson Avenue’s newest hotspot lives up to its odd name, South African slang for 'awesome, amazing, delicious.' Trust us.
By Tara Nieuwesteeg |
Bret Redman
The bar area was full, but my friend spotted two empty stools at one end. We claimed them and settled in.
It was Saturday night at Lekka on Henderson Avenue, and we’d popped in for some early-evening drinks. In truth, the name of the bar intrigued me. Growing up, I often heard a similar-sounding Dutch word: lekker, meaning “tasty.” I asked the bartender about it.

Lekka is South African for awesome, amazing, delicious,” he told me. Then he took a little dance break.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time, but no one more so than the bartenders. They bantered with the patrons and frequently danced. The bar itself is a friendly place, too. It reminded me of a comfy tavern. The design is one part rustic (think wood and exposed brick) and one part artsy (decor includes wooden flowers, glass sculptures, and oversize lightbulbs). There was also a diner-style display case full of lekka-looking cakes.

The drinks looked lekka, too. I decided on the Protea (named for South Africa’s national flower). My friend ordered the Monkey’s Wedding (what South Africans call a “sun shower”). As he crafted our cocktails, the bartender told us about the bar.

“We have a location up north where we sell home decor,” he explained, referring to Lekka’s Preston Road spot. “The tag line there is Eat, Drink, Shop. But here it’s a younger crowd. They’d rather buy shots than gifts. So here it’s Eat, Drink, Party.”

He finished making my drink, used a straw for a taste test, and yelled: “WOO! SO GOOD!”

As my friend and I sipped our cocktails, “You Sexy Thing” played overhead. Our bartender slammed his silver shaker into a nearby pillar in time with the beat. Another bartender shimmied over to join him.

Our cocktails disappeared quickly. As we watched the bartenders dance and contemplated ordering another round, we agreed: Lekka lives up to its name.

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