So, obviously, Jimmy’s Hall in the love-it-or-hate-it Athens neighbourhood of Exarcheia definitely has one thing going for it: its name is almost the same as mine. If that sounds a bit too narcissistic, wouldn’t you also like a place that was seemingly named after you? This one wasn’t named after me, of course, but Ken Loach’s fairly recent movie about an Irishman in the ’30s who opens a dance hall in his village against the will of the authorities and the church. I watched it with my father when it came out in cinemas — he is the one who mostly calls me Jimmy, and he found the title as amusing as I.
The movie wasn’t bad (although, in my unrefined opinion, if you’ve watched one Ken Loach movie, you’ve kinda watched them all); Jimmy’s Hall the café/bar, on the other hand, is something special.
What has me coming back is their Valrhona dark chocolate (pictured). It costs the same as any drinking chocolate you’d get in any café, but it’s just amazing quality — thick, foamy, a perfect balance between bitter and sweet. I order a cup and settle in for work behind my laptop. The music is the perfect volume, and I don’t think they’ve ever even played the movie’s soundtrack!
The area is a bit noisy and dirty, but Jimmy’s Hall is a true oasis. I’ve never visited it at night, but why not give it a try? That’s when Exarcheia’s really at its decadent best, anyway.