I had the pleasure of chilling at Hai.bo this Saturday which you can find at 18 Lilian Ngoyi Avenue in Windemere. It’s been described as Durban’s cosmopolitan hangout and rightfully so. After not being happy to chill at the usual spots in Florida Road,we decided to settle at Hai.bo which is in a street that doesn’t have much activity or any other hotspot. Hai.bo has a selection of Durban favourites as well as the usual crowd pleasers- seafood,pastas and pizzas.On the beverage side there’s everything from coffees to cocktails.
It’s hard to describe Hai.bo because on the outside it’s a blue double-story Victorian styled house and inside it’s completely the opposite. Inside,I found it to be eclectic and quirky; a sort of artist’s playground where colours;patterns and textures meet.There is a beautifully gold embossed metal that meets the exposed brickwork of the walls ; and a patchwork panelled bar complete with stripper pole;and coloured glass lights that deflect the sun’s ray ever so slighlty . A completely personalised space that cannot be compared to any other.
While the decor is wonderfully unique it’s this inviting nature that Hai.bo possesses that make it a winner for me .The main difference between Hai.bo and other trendy hangouts is that they’re usually dim lit caves that are only frequented at night .Hai.bo is not one of them.It makes the transition from daytime hangout, to sundowners before the party, to the place where the actual party is at, effortlessly. The difference between inside and outside Hai.bo is a little blurred; I love this fact.There are folded glass panel doors that let the sun in to illuminate the place and also allow for the pavement to become an extension of seating;an extension of place.It’s a case of a “house turned cafe” making a quiet street and sort of uninteresting surroundings, interesting. Hai.bo has injected life into the space it’s taken ownership of, giving the street where Hai.bo lives a character of its own.
The music being played at Hai.bo is varied but Hai.bo itself resonates with sounds of summer.It’s the sort of place that you just want to stop at for pizza and maybe have something cold to drink. It’s then you find the sun has gone and you have no intentions of leaving. Hai.bo lives in it’s own little world at the end of the street; tailormade for hot summer days and festive summer nights in Durbz.