Opened on 1st July, 2012; a significant date in the political history of Ghana- the country assumed its Republican status on July 1- The Republic Bar and Grill has for Ghana, has for the past 8 years become one of the best outdoor spots in the nation’s capital. Founded by two brothers – Kofi and Raja Owusu- Ansah, “Republic”, as it’s known has become a significant place in the city’s nightlife.
Located in the heart of Osu, a few metres from the Osu Mall, the attraction of The Republic Bar goes beyond its incredible location. The food and the drinks, especially their signature cocktails laced with the popular Ghanaian local gin akpeteshie has assumed popularity among its customers. The venue is also a social ground for patrons where friendships are forged or cemented, business deals are made or closed while music booms from the speakers either from a live music performance or from a DJ’s decks. The lively atmosphere is what has defined The Republic Bar all these years thus attracting both locals and expatriates including foreign celebrities.
The ambience, the services, diverse customer base and the experiences that The Republic Bar & Grill offers is exactly what the founders – Raja and Kofi Owusu- Ansah envisaged. In an interview with CNN’s African Voices, Raja spoke on what motivated them to open a place like “The Republic Bar”.
“We were thinking where you can go in Accra where you can sit, listen to good music and have a drink at a good price. That is what we were looking for. And, that’s what we are about: good music, good price, good entertainment, good ambience and the correct people around you. It’s as simple as that”
Over the years, The Republic Bar & Grill has gone beyond a place for convivial gatherings and interactions. It has become a favourite spot for artists and music video directors to shoot scenes for their visuals. The interior aesthetics of the bar is one of its major attractions. As Raja pointed out: “The concept of the [Republic] Bar captures what Ghana was in the early independence period when Ghana had a lot of good stories to tell- whether in culture, arts, music or politics”.
The venue continues to play a role in advancing the art scene in the city. The founders, recognizing the importance of art have offered their space for creatives within the city to exhibit their works. The Republic Bar has hosted album listening parties, live music performances, spoken work recitals and many other outdoor events for years. By offering creatives such opportunities, the bar is helping the artists to connect with not only their fans but also introduce their talents to a new crop of audience. The platform also showcases the diversity in art that the city continues to birth.
In this article, we spotlight six (6) videos that were shot at The Republic Bar & Grill.
Blitz The Ambassador – Juju Girl (2015)
The lead single from his “Diasporadical” album, the Brooklyn based Blitz The Ambassador shot this video when he visited Ghana as part of his album listening tour. The Republic Bar hosted this event. Directed by Blitz The Ambassador, the video revolved around a love story that did not blossom as one envisaged. The video also reflected certain Ghanaian Traditional customs.
V.V.I.P ft. Sena Dagadu – Skolom (2015)
I was present when part of this video was shot. FOKN Bois held a concert at The Republic Bar that night. The concert featured Sena Dagadu, VVIP among others. One of the best songs by the legendary music group, this XBills Ebenezer directed video captured a jolly evening involving VVIP, Sena Dagadu, FOKN Bois and more.
NanaYaa – My Hunny (2017)
Taken from her album “Many3 1″, this afropop tune was the first single by the talented singer. For those who might not know the musical background of NanaYaa, she is the daughter of the highlife maestro, Pat Thomas. She, for many years, was a back-up singer/featured artist for Kojo Antwi. Many would remember her voice on the Kojo Antwi hit song ”Amirika”. The video for “My Hunny” was directed by Joy Williams.
Edem ft. M.I. Abaga – Delila (2015)
Taken from his “Books & Rhymes” album, this Genius Selection produced afropop record featured Nigerian hip hop act M.I. Abaga. Together, they dished out a record that hinged on the popular Samson and Delila trope.
C-Real ft. M.anifest – Opeimu (2012)
A personal favourite of mine, C-Real teamed up with M.anifest to declare why he is the primus inter pares as far as hip hop in Ghana is concerned on this Juls produced record.
Reggie Rockstone – New Balance, 11:11 (2019)
Reggie Rockstone decided to hop on Pappy Kojo’s “Balance” beat to show off his rapping skills.