Strait Street has seen an incredible revival in recent years. Besides having a popular TV show named after it (and now even a beer), the street infamous for debauchery has slowly transformed into Malta’s coolest nightlife district. And it’s only going to get better, if last weekend was anything to go by.
The Gut, as the lower end of Strait Street is known, has remained relatively untouched throughout the area’s revival, but plans are underway to bring it back to the bustling place it once was. Last weekend gave us a glimpse into what could be. For the first time in 50 years, the doors of A. McKay were opened and the old bar (still in ruins) played host to a Craft Beer and Live Music festival.
Co-organised by Stretta Craft Beer and Offbeat Music Bar, the event attracted hundreds of people curious to see what lies behind the big red door we had never seen opened before. And we were not disappointed. The space is haunting and maze-like, with a large open courtyard that’s surrounded by vacant historical properties just waiting to have life breathed into them once more.
The organisers encountered some difficulties with the authorities, which initially led them to call off the second day of the festival. But hours later, they decided to go ahead and rub it as a private event in true prohibition style. They asked people to knock on the big red door before entering.
The bands playing throughout the weekend were Kazin Ska, Swing Nuages, Yews, Brett Davies, Nadine Axisa and the Hot Club of Valletta.
Photos by Lara Manara.