Established some four and half years ago, the Bell Wood Bar has definitely earned its name as one of the top bars/pubs in Jerusalem. The bar offers a warm and homey atmosphere and most importantly has plenty of character - heavy wooden tables and chairs, a long wooden bar, good music, a friendly staff and a wide selection of quality alcohol.
Though my companion and I started off with a couple cold ones, a pint of Gosser and a glass of Kasteel Rouge, it is important to note that Bell’s booze offerings include an impressive array of over 120 types of whiskey, tequila, cognac, liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages. Though we enjoyed the Gosser, is a cereal based clear brown Austrian Lager weighing in at 4.5%, the Kasteel Rouge a red and concentrated cherry based beer, proved even more interesting, displaying very distinctive aromas and flavors. And with an alcohol concentration of 8% it’s almost as if you are drinking wine.
23:25: Friday night and the place was just beginning to fill up. Looking around I noticed that the crowd was very diverse, ranging from students and local Jerusalemites through Asian and North American tourists. Some were able to find a vacant stool while others weren’t detered from ordering a drink and patiently waiting by the bar or at the door for the chance to be seated.
As one would expect from a British style bar, the Bell offers some 16 different beers on tap, including: Guinness, Stella, Leffe, BarBar, Edelweiss as well as an assortment of quality imported bottles. Founder and owner Tzachi mentioned that there is a story behind (almost) every drink on the menu and if you have the time, I’m sure he will be happy to elaborate.
After reviewing our options we decided to order something that would go well with the beers and selected the Bell’s fish & chips, two lightly battered fillets of cod, home fries and a side salad served with ketchup, mayo and a homemade vinaigrette dressing. Both the fish and the fries were cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and nice and soft within. The Bell also offers: salads, hamburgers, sausages, sandwiches and more…
00:25: time for another round. This time I decided to go for the Edelweiss – again of Austrian origin, Edelweiss is a cloudy wheat based beer showing good fruit and spice. As we were getting ready to leave, Oshri, the friendly bartender asked us if we would like to sample a new type whiskey - strait out of the Bell’s freezer. At first I was a bit skeptical, however Oshri reassured us and mentioned that the Snow Grouse (produced by The Edrington Group - owners of popular Famous Grouse brand) is made using a special process and is meant to be enjoyed frozen. When served frozen the whiskey is of a slightly thicker consistency, comes on like vodka and offers a lingering and familiar after taste.
If you feel like having a pint after work (during winter the Bell opens at 17:00), going out for a beer with the gang or experiencing a little bit of downtown Jerusalem nightlife, the Bell Wood Bar is be a good place to start.
The Bell Wood Bar
5 Yosef Rivlin, Jerusalem