Java house: It is not easy to find a convenient eatery these days and still enjoy your meal without a rush to give space to other waiting customers. Henry Mulindwa writes.
An appointment with a friend was not difficult to fix last Tuesday afternoon.
“Let’s meet at Java House, Lugogo Bypass,” he suggested.
You may agree that it is hard to run errands in Kampala. If you want to do grocery shopping, fuel your car and catch a meal at a good restaurant, you may not only lose time, but also the energy and fuel you have invested might run out while still on the road. This is probably the reason the fast-pacing concept of fuel stations running convenience retails in mini supermarkets and restaurants is a great relief to many people in this city.
That is how Java House, on Shell Lugogo, along the Bypass might have come about. Several couples were spread all over the dining area of the hangout conveniently located in an area frequented by sports people from the nearby National Council of Sports, shoppers at Forest Mall, Game and Shoprite stores, and prayer sessions largely by Phanero Ministries every Thursday.
On this particular Tuesday, a meeting over juice took us more time than usually needed. No rush! I could afford to charge my smartphone as I enjoyed free WiFi. I noticed it was easy to watch over one’s car in the parking lot facing the balcony of the restaurant where patrons enjoyed their meal or sipped on their coffee.
For the past couple of weeks, Vivo Energy, the distributors of Shell fuel products, have partnered with some of the best restaurant chains in Uganda to open dining places at their stations. This particular Java House was opened last week.
Early this week, news was awash that high-end restaurant Prunes Express had opened at Shell Bugolobi but at lower costs than the mother branch at Kololo’s Wampewo Avenue. Others are Kahwa2Go at Shell Jinja Road, Café Pap at Shell Bukoto, KFC restaurants at Shell Kabalagala and the first KFC drive-through restaurant at Shell Kira Road.
For the two and half hours we were there, people came, and left. But the speed of attendants ensured that their customers got their orders with a sense of urgency.
As a motorist fuels or services their car, they don’t have to bake in the sun while waiting to have their cars fixed but rather utilise the time to grab a quick meal or bite, according to Cerinah Zalwango, the Vivo Energy corporate communications manager. “This gives the customer more value”.