Ithaki, is a bar that has weathered the test of time. Thriving through the ever changing trends, crises and fads, Ithaki opened its doors to the thirsty public back in 1998 and has been busy ever since. Situated next to Famagusta Gate, Ithaki boasts its own Italianesque plaza/square with a large outdoor bar for folks to sit at and watch the world go by.
What’s its secret of longevity in an ever changing and saturated market? Well who knows really. Maybe it’s simply about candor and good vibes. Some may suggest the indoor venue is a little rough around the edges and in need of renovating, I say not. The décor is undoubtedly dated but it has a superbly ‘old school’ charm.
Ithaki stands proud as an institution; it knows it’s popularity and does not waste its time with frills. It’s simply an old bar with great character, good atmosphere and space to let loose till the early hours of the mornings. It’s been worn in and is well loved. It offers varying themed nights most nights of the week. Although the doors open at 9pm, people rock up after 10pm and within an hour, the space is heaving. Mondays’ RnB Nights with guest DJs and Fridays’ Thinking Outside the Box – a gay friendly night, are the their busiest evenings. Wednesdays are Erasmus Student Nights and Thursdays Scarabeo Reggae events.
There’s an interesting contrast between its indoor and two outdoor spaces. The indoor is a compact square space, with a large square bar in the middle. Large mirrors hang on white and crimson walls and a DJ booth lives in the centre back of the room, giving easy access for song requests! My favourite part of the décor are the metre long super thin resting stations situated in between the bar and the seating areas. Here, people can stand, intermingle and have somewhere to support their drink. Over all, the space is cosy.
However, the front outdoor space (which only opens in summer,) is picturesque, light and breezy, plus it comes with its own outdoor cocktail bar. Tables and chairs line the large corner paved area under the shade of old trees and canopies and people can choose between one of Ithaki’s six signature cocktails, purposely designed for summer or other classic cocktails.
Unlike all of its newer contemporaries, Ithaki has no snazzy drinks or food menu, in fact it has no menu at all. There’s an A4 printed sheet on your right as you enter the front door and the cocktail menu during the winter months comes in the shape of a ‘human menu’, with servers happy to explain what’s on offer.
Technically, Ithaki is a cocktail bar in the summer and a normal bar/ club in the winter. There’s a private outdoor side space which is open all year round, also with its own bar. Ithaki fits in an impressive four bars in its small space. And between 10 and 11pm is happy hour; buy one drink and get one free on any individual drinks, every day. Reservations are not recommended; it’s more of a relaxed first come, first served principle.
Where: Nikiforou Foka 33, Nicosia
When: Monday – Saturday Opening times: Winter 9-3am, Summer 7-3am, (Fri & Sat till 4am)
Price: Wines €18 – 25, Cocktails €8 – 10
Contact: www.facebook.com/Ithaki33, Tel: 22 250500