been eight years since the first Mate Bar on Dizengoff opened it's
doors to the young revelers of Tel Aviv. Since then, it has grown into a
small chain with branches in Florentin, briefly one on Lincoln Street,
and now most recently on King George.
I could still smell the
fresh paint when I went to check out the branch on King George, the newest addition to the family. As with the other Mate bars, the
atmosphere is laid-back but energetic at the same time.
The team behind Mate try very hard to create a family atmosphere and
they have been very successful in doing so. "I can't explain it but it
really feels like a
family," says barman and Mate King George manager
Omri Yakov. "Everyone knows each other."
Set above street level in a converted old
building near the busy intersection with Dizengoff and Ben
Tzion/Bugrashov, Mate King George is in a prime location to attract Tel
Avivians looking to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city. The
small terrace overlooking the busy street provides a great entrance to
the bar itself, which is simply decorated with modern furnishings.
age 28 and originally from Petah Tikva, is very proud that the Mate
brand has managed to become a regular fixture on the very fast-changing
Tel Aviv bar scene.
With an extensive drinks
selection (nearly 40 types of beer and over 80 types of whiskey) and bar
staff that you would want to be friends with in real life, it's no
wonder that after less than a week of opening, the bar was already full. The pool table, live sport and wide range of comfort food may also have something to do with it.
the idea of Happy Hour to the next level, Yakov and his team at Mate
have a "Super Happy" half an hour every Tuesday between 7:30 -8 p.m.,
during which they offer three third pints of beer for just NIS 20. It's
offers like these that keep the regulars coming back for more.
Yakov sat down with The Jerusalem Post to talk about his life as a bartender.
How do id you get into the world of bartending?
The money was very tempting. Also, I'm the kind of guy who
likes people and enjoys talking to others. I am also a trained actor so
for me it's a sort of stage. You get people coming into the bar and you
host them, you talk to them, you joke with them. You have to be good at
it. It doesn't even matter how good you are at the technical side of
things, you need to know how to work with people.