What makes a good cocktail bar? Well, the drinks obviously, followed by the setting, the nibbles and the vibe. Mix them all together and through some alchemy you’ll have a winner like Durban’s new The Charlatan Neighbourhood Cocktail Bar. Owners Chris Strover and Sean Klokie explain the slightly surprising name. "We chose The Charlatan for its association with making something from nothing, creating a bit of magic to enchant and delight," says Strover. "We’re proudly Durban and wanted a space that would be welcoming to everyone — very much a neighbourhood meeting space." Located in a partially open-air courtyard, the setting is ideal for balmy KwaZulu-Natal evenings. And the industrial feel of the exposed brick walls, hand-sanded Blackwood bar, raw timber and low lighting is a sophisticated choice.

The drinks menu is just what you want from a dedicated cocktail venue — it has all the classics, though nothing as pedestrian as a cosmopolitan. Think negronis, daiquiris with inter...

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