Sunday, 12 July 2009

Having a drink in Fez: the MAS bar

In Fez, like in most big cities of Morocco, you can find alcohol in most supermarkets, in liquor stores, and in some groceries stores. But having a cold beer in a nice bar is something else. Not so easy at all.

First, bars for tourists are expensive, and the ambiance is not great.

Then, because Morocco is a Muslim country, alcohol is often a taboo subject. Of course it doesn't mean that nobody drinks. Just that, with the exception of certain well-off families, nobody drinks at home, with their families.
So when people spend the night in a bar, it's certainly not to have just one drink or too (actually, I think the bar owner would consider that as an insult.) No, most people drink until they can't, and until their wallet is empty. Not fun - given that, in Fez, there are only men in most bars.

Things are different in Casa or in Rabat, or, I guess, in Marrakesh. But Fez is a very traditional city.

Still, there are some fun places.

The first I want to show you is the MAS bar.

I don't know if you know the MAS. It's the Fez sport club. They're most known for their soccer club.
But they also do other things.
1. They play pétanque.
2. They sell beer.

The sports club is financed by the sale of alcohol in the bar. The state allow them to sell detaxed alcohol. It's thus the cheapest bar of Fez. The good thing is that it's not only for club members.

At the MAS bar, you drink a beer (10 dirhams - 1 euro) ou a glass of wine (a bottle of Guerrouane is only 65 dirhams) while watching people play pétanque, in a courtyard, seated under a tree.

There are also the cats that live there, the almonds sellers, the delicious kefta tajins (30 dirhams), and the lamps that look like lanterns in the trees.

I don't know the exact address. It's in the street of the French institute. Coming from la Fiat, go straight, and then it's on your left, in a corner. Enter by the main door (there is another bar in the club and trust me, you don't want to go there).


monsieur mike said...

Thanks for the post Marie, I will look forwarding to trying to visit MAS on my next return to Fes. Can non members play pétanque there? Or do you have to become a member?

Marie said...

Monsieur Mike,
No you don't have to be a member to play pétanque ! But the players are pretty serious about it, so I hope you're good !

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Huh. I learn something every time I visit this site. And now I know where to go get a beer if I'm ever in Fez. :-)

monsieur mike said...

That's torn it, I'll have to start practicing! I guess there's no beginners area. Oh well if nothing else I can enjoy the beer and play elsewhere, where my poor skills won''t be so obvious.