Mike’s Place is a Jerusalem pub or “Live Music Bar” as they put it. With an international crowd and live Blues, Rock 'N' Roll, etc. every night, no cover charge ever!
The original Mike is Mike Viggoda who started the bar in 1993. 2 Years later Assaf Ganzman (A Mike’s Place regular who had spent some time managing nightclubs and playing the Blues in Nashville) inherited the bar when Mike returned to Canada.
In 1999 Mike’s Place opened a second location in Jerusalem. And a year later moved in to a new larger place in the “Russian Compound” (9 Monbaz st.)
Mike’s Place Tel Aviv was open for business in the summer of 2001 right next to the U.S. Embassy (86 Herbert Samuel) a tourist infested area across the street from the Tel Aviv boardwalk.
The bar also takes pride in being one of the first places in Israel to serve Guinness on tap. (Now extremely common in Israel)
Personally I have never been to Mike’s in Jerusalem but in Tel Aviv it is an amazing pub where English seems to be the main language but I’ve heard Spanish, Russian, French and of course Hebrew there.
The people are extremely friendly, especially if you come alone, and it all seems like a big family of regulars, though you might look like a regular to someone seeing you after 5 minutes.
It truly is a special place and a must for anyone hanging around the Tel Aviv area. It is an especially nice place to come to watch the summer sunsets, during the early hours of the evening when it’s almost empty, quiet enough to hear people 5 tables across from you asking if you got a light and where you are from, and early enough to be happy hour.
Historical info from www.mikesplacebars.com
On April 29, 2003
there was a suicide bombing
in Tel Aviv which took the lives of Dominique Hass, Yanay Weiss and Ran Baron. The blast also injured many others. The security guard
Avi Tabib saved many lives that night by stopping the bomber at the entrance before he got in.
A memorial service was held a week later (Which happened to be memorial day eve.) and a small memorial area was setup right inbetween mike’s and the U.S. Embassy, one of the memorials reads:
"The Mike's Place spirit was never constrained by mere walls,
it resides in the people who it touched, and became part of its family forever."