In a city often divided by religious, cultural, and political lines, Jerusalem’s nightlife scene offers a welcome respite from these rifts. At the helm of this unifying endeavor is a single visionary owner, Lion Schwartz, who has ingeniously crafted a trifecta of distinct venues that seamlessly blend nostalgia, innovation, and camaraderie. Through the Glen Whisk(e)y Bar, Rabbit Hole, and Biratenu, Lion has not only established a trio of exceptional nightlife spots but also created a haven that warmly welcomes everyone, echoing his sentiment: “as long as you aren’t a jerk*”
* Jerk is a softer version of the word he used, which isn’t fit for print.
Part I: Glen Whisk(e)y Bar
If you love whisk(e)y — either with the e or without, and YES, there is a difference — Glen Whisk(e)y Bar is the place for you. The bar has an impressive collection of over 500 bottles of exceptional whisk(e)y from all around the world — including Scottish basics like Macallan and Talisker and Glenmorangie, more obscure drams like Mortlach (Winston Churchill’s drink of choice), and the often-difficult-to-find-in-Israel Port Charlotte… plus a gorgeous variety of bourbons including Blantons and Eagle Rare and Four Roses… and rich and velvety Japanese, Irish and even Icelandic whiskey pours… as well as Israel’s very own award winning whiskeys. But the place isn’t fancy. Old concert posters on the walls from back in the day, and a banging hard rock soundtrack including Metallica, NIN, Guns ‘N Roses and the Cure, give the place some serious 1980s-1990s basement hangout vibes. (PRO TIP: If the music isn’t your thing, go early and suggest an alternative – they’re usually accommodating.)
Part II: Rabbit Hole
Enter the Rabbit Hole, where mixology becomes an art and every sip is a revelation. This unique bar, spearheaded by the master mixologist Guy Krigel, is a testament to creativity and innovation. The Rabbit Hole offers a mesmerizing array of expertly crafted cocktails that challenge the conventional, all informed by Lewis Carroll’s book “Alice in Wonderland.” The bar is hidden in plain sight — wedged between two other buildings, it’s purposefully designed to be like its name, a rabbit hole (in the wall) kind of place. Behind the bar, Guy skillfully weaves flavors and ingredients, resulting in concoctions that tantalize the taste buds. (He makes his own tonic water, and is also an expert in gin.) For those in the know, the Rabbit Hole has a secret menu (you have to ask!) and hidden back room — both are privileges reserved for regulars, a true haven within a haven where conversation flows and unique concoctions are enjoyed in an intimate setting. BONUS: The music may sound like something out of the 1920s, but listen carefully – most are vintage-inspired covers of modern songs, which adds to the quirky ambiance of the place.
Part III: Biratenu
The multifaceted nightlife experience continues with Biratenu, a venue that celebrates the art of beer and reflects Lion’s unique spirit. Offering an extensive selection of beers from across the globe, including its own carefully brewed creations, Biratenu caters to beer enthusiasts seeking both variety and quality.
Lion, known for his cynical wit, also has the proverbial (and genuine) heart of gold. His passion for providing an exceptional experience is evident in every corner of these establishments. As the mastermind behind Glen Whisk(e)y Bar, Rabbit Hole, and Biratenu, Lion has carved out a triumvirate of nightlife gems that truly encapsulate the diverse and captivating essence of Jerusalem. PRO TIP – follow the FB page for updates on when they host various game nights — they aren’t to be missed!
In a city marked by its divisions, Lion’s trilogy of nightlife destinations stands as a beacon of unity and inclusion. Through Glen Whisk(e)y Bar, Rabbit Hole, and Biratenu, Lion Shultz’s vision transcends boundaries, offering spaces where locals and visitors can come together, enjoy exceptional drinks, and forge connections in an atmosphere of warmth and respect.