Pool hall and music venue on Asafoatse Nettey Road, a one-way arterty that runs west through the middle of Ussher Town and James Town. A friend ended up at Jubilee Pool House one night and found a superb ten-piece band playing, all in white suits – but on our visit, at half past nine on a Friday night, it was just a pleasant, quiet, very local third-floor pool hall, cooled by ceiling fans and hung with pictures of black leaders from Nkrumah and Lumumba to Obama.
The height gives it views over the area’s low-rise sprawl: from one side a tussle of walls and sloping roofs in relief, lit here and there by pockets of harsh light; from the other, the ground-floor courtyard, and beyond its south wall a group of men in Islamic dress conversing on plastic chairs by the roadside. Ussher Town has had a Muslim population since the early 1800s – according to a brief history on the Shaanin Zongo site it was relocated in 1908 and drifted back in a more fragmented form after the 1939 earthquake. There’s a Zongo Lane running north off Asafoatse Nettey. You’ll see it signposted as you drive up towards the venue.
Though Jubilee doesn’t have near-nightly shows like 233 Jazz Bar (which is where our hunger for live eventually took us), bands do play regularly, setting up on a bandstand in the large downstairs courtyard before a picture of the Big Six. The owner told me there’s live music every Saturday night, with occasional performances on other days. The fare is mostly Ghanaian folk standards and highlife. More to supplement this when I’ve caught a band there, but for now it’s a great spot to shoot some pool in the early evening, with very low prices – we paid 13ghc for four frames, two double G&Ts, a large club and a few small bottles of water.
There’s a Facebook page set up, don’t expect to find reliable listings online; call 024 426 7199 to find out what’s afoot, and if that doesn’t work contact me (see top right) and I’ll pass on a mobile number for the venue manager Kobla.
Finadbility: Very easy. All westbound traffic on High Street is filtered up Asafoatse Nettey, so you can point a taxi driver to Nkrumah Memorial and tell him to keep going. When the road bears right, carry on straight ahead across several traffic lights until you see a Shell station on the right. If you’re driving, turn right down a raggedy-looking alley just before the Shell for parking. There’s a large painted sign for Jubilee at the turning. [map]