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Best bars to watch sport

Unmissable Champion's League match? Six Nations clash? You'll find some big screens here

Dan Neilsen

The English Premier League is by far the biggest spectator sport in Ghana and it can be found shown in high end restaurants to local eateries – but this is where to go with atmosphere. 

Champs Sports Bar & Grill

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Champs is back! After a brief flirt with being called The Lexington, the bar has become Champs again. It now offers an international menu, wide coverage of all major sporting events on eight large screens TV and four project screens and a wide selection of regular events organised entertainment events, a quiz night every Thursday, regular live music,  Thursday Quiz Night, Accra DJs such as DJ Black, DJ KillerFingers, DJ Big L and DJ Vision and a Friday karaoke competition. The Stellar Group that runs it hopes to return the bar to the good old days of Champs.  Champs. Champs Sports Bar & Grill can also be found in Takoradi at Stellar Lodge and will soon open in Lagos on Victoria Island.There’s also a Champs Sports Bar & Grill in Takoradi at Stellar Lodge and there will be a new Champs opening in Lagos this month. A full review will be uploaded in mid-May.The Accra Champs is located in the Paloma Hotel Complex on the Ring Road.  FB: Champs Sports Bar & GrillTwitter:@ChampsGHAccra

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Adabraka and Asylum Down

Rhapsody’s

Rhapsody’s close to both the airport and surrounding hotels, ensuring the South African chain gets a steady supply of expats and moneyed locals to sample its extensive drink and cigar selection. There are two halves to the interior – an informal lounge, complete with panel-lit horseshoe bar and football on widescreen TVs, and a white- tableclothed restaurant with padded wall fabrics. Things crank up a notch on Fridays and Saturdays when DJs spin tunes: expect sizeable crowds, and be aware that you’ll have to pay if you arrive post-11pm. This is a very popular place for business meetings. It’s part of an established South African/Lebanese chain, so has the stylised decor and contemporary trimmings that would suggest, from flat screen sport to design-led bar stools. The menu offers an array of salads, burgers, steaks, snack platters and the like. There is a separate dining area. One great option is Rhapsody’s Chicken Espetada which is deboned chicken thighs skewered with spicy jalapenos and a sweet-chilli sauce.

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East Airport

Honeysuckle Pub and Restaurant

Based on a regular local boozer, the Honeysuckle in Osu is a homely place for homesick Brits who want a dose of Premiership football and some recognisable food. It’s decked out in kitsch red velvet chairs and striped wallpaper with framed pictures of old British pubs, and football teams next to scarves and the inevitable ‘dogs playing snooker’ prints. The central bar serves a good selection of international spirits and beers, including local beers on draft. There’s a good meal selection for a lunchtime bite; the honey chicken wings are always popular.

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Osu
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Yard Bird

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Yard Bird mixes American-style diner food with Ghanaian spice and a funky environment in this new restaurant concept from the same team as Coco Lounge and Santoku. After a slight menu adjustment, Yard Bird has widened its offering and will serve a few more Ghanaian dishes, albeit with a Yard Bird twist. But as the great branding attests, the flagship dish is fried chicken with Yard Bird’s own spice shake. The sweet, sticky ribs fall off the bone and are pretty special too. There are more refined dishes on the menu, but you’ll have most fun grabbing the ribs and the original Yard Bird chicken and getting your hands dirty. A lounge bar is also set to open with everything from house cocktails and fresh lemonade to alcoholic Moonshine milkshakes. The location out on the Spintex Road attracts a steady lunchtime and after-work crowd. Another Yard Bird is planned more centrally.

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Accra

Coco Lounge

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From the leather bar seating to the tilework in the private dining room, the attention to detail in Coco Lounge is quite amazing. Local artist Nana Anoff has installed pieces alongside thoroughly modern and brave design touches, as you’d expect coming from the same stable as design store La Maison next door, which also curated the restaurant’s interior. The pizza oven is dressed up as an old Italian truck and a sight to behold. Incredible space for sure, so what about the food? The tight menu of mains includes sandwiches, burgers and fish and chips. Plus there’s a wide range of salad dishes, rice bowls and that wood-fired pizza. Oh, and don’t forget the home-made ice cream and cakes. The focus on detail continues through to the food – renowned New York chef Andrew DiCataldo has designed the menu as well as that of the flagship Urban Grill. Our burger was on a brioche (thank heavens), and the quinoa salad was loaded with dried fruit and nuts – an inviting sight. The dickie-bowed wait staff were attentive and kind. The cocktail list is also impressive. Meko Martini anyone? It’s Ketel One Vodka with Ghanaian chili. Pow!

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Accra

Venus

Quite a transformation at Venus bar. It’s always been popular, but the recent refurbishment shows it has seriously upped its game. It’s now a hotspot by day for young travellers tapping away on MacBooks, enjoying a coffee, or a bite to eat from the reasonably-priced Lebanese-inspired menu in the air-conditioned bar, or outside on the comfortable and leafy terrace – both seem an age away from the busy intersection outside. By night, the cocktails and beer consumption ramp up and Venus becomes a seriously fun bar. 

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Osu
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