What to say about Avenue? It’s not the swankiest bar I have seen, nor does it boast award winning mixologists, artisan beers or cellars full of rare vintage wines. It is neither themed nor edgy, and its drinks menu is pretty simple, but boy is it popular! Having recently opened just off the Griva Digeni Avenue is impressively full every night of the week.
Why? Firstly, and in defiance to the fancy new bars of today, Avenue is reminiscent of the old Cypriot style drinking joints from some 20 years ago. It’s not based on image, nor does one go there just to be seen, rather, it’s about eating great food, drinking and socialising. Secondly, it’s more than just a bar, it defines itself as an all day and night lounge, café, restaurant and bar. I would also add sports bar and live music venue to that list.
There is little pretentiousness about the venue. The cocktails are classic and all drinks are well priced. I was recommended the Avenue Project (vodka, mastiha and pomegranate) and although it was not a refined drink, it packed a punch; both sweet and strong. The all-day food menu however, is very interesting as well as affordable. On this particular Wednesday night, there was a rare sports screening. The large frontal outdoor space was full of football fans dressed in shorts, jeans and T-shirts; there was an informal comfort and ease among the customers. However football screenings are reserved for special matches only.
Avenue is a large but comfortable venue with approximately 150 seats indoors and 100 outside. Usually they hold live music events on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Greek modern pop and traditional Laiko (be sure to make a reservation, as it’s full house.) The other nights play recorded background house and chill-out music; from September, DJs will be performing live several times a week. The space looks very different during event nights (as opposed to sports night,) at Tuesday’s live music night, the inside area was virtually unrecognisable, with candles on all the tables, dim lighting and a stage for the musicians to play.
The dress code, like everything else, is chilled. There seems to be an unwritten understanding that during event nights people dress up and the rest of the time wear whatever makes them feel comfortable. There’s a sense of community in Avenue, not to say that everyone knows each other but rather share some sort of values when it comes to a good night out; it’s a relaxed extension of the home where groups of friends can hang, eat good food and listen to live music. Avenue is more suitable for groups than solo drinkers and the air conditioning inside is perfect during these hot summer nights but the outside is definitely warmer, however, this did little to deter the happy punters.
Where: Erechthiou 2, Engomi, Nicosia
When: Monday – Sunday 10am – 2am
Price: Wines €19 – 28, Cocktails €7 – 8
Contact: www.facebook.com/AvenueEngomi/ Tel: 95 111888