Carved into rock flanking the hotel's main courtyard, the bar is in fact an old tomb from the 1st century BC, and it certainly takes a bit of getting used to.
When you walk in, the place kind of passes as a regular old pub, with a bar in the corner, sofas and tables in the middle, and a big flat-screen TV by the entrance transmitting the latest Jordanian pop music videos (which, to our delight, were quite a bit sassier than the sugar-coated junk we're used to in the USA).
Except there are a few clues that you're not in just any old pub. Like the reconstructed portico over the main entrance. Or the cozy seating nooks carved into different corners of the bar, which clearly once functioned as sub-chambers of the larger tomb. And the scorch marks along the walls, hinting that they've probably been standing a lot, lot longer than you've been alive.
As for the menu, a wide range of cocktails (both alcoholic and non) are available, in addition to spirits, aperitifs and digestifs. Though, in the spirit of simpler times, we opted for a regular pint of Amstel (4.50 JD) and a narghile (5 JD), which we puffed away on merrily with some fellow travelers from one of the private nooks. With candles flickering against the stone walls, we almost—almost—had the impression that we were thrown back 2000 years into the time of the Nabataeans, resting from a long, hard day of stone-lifting and wheelbarrow-pushing.
Until, that is, Nicki Minaj began blasting from the bar's sound system and jolted everyone into the center of the cave for an impromptu dance party.