Nicosians: you’ve probably walked or driven past this place multiple times, either on your way to someplace else or aimlessly strolling past the beautiful 14th century Omeriye Mosque, which sits within the city walls and exactly opposite this hidden and off the digital radar bar.
Maybe you’ve noticed it, maybe you haven’t. Point is, notice it, enter it.
A couple of tables and chairs sit at the entrance of this extraordinary otherworldly place of chill and non-exhibitionism that I liken to Narnia, after Aslan takes over the reins, of course.
A long and narrow corridor lined with tables, chairs, and cushioned benches guide you to the bar, which sits inside what used to be the glass façade of a traditional coffeeshop. The frames which held the glass still stand, but the glass has been removed, creatively introducing a second bar-like seating row.
You’ll find that the light and energy of the place is concentrated in the bar’s owner, who’s usually in conversation with the regulars that line the bar. Walls are plastered with art and culture, again all stemming from the deeply cultured owner.
Every now and then the corridor comes alive with live rempetiko, with musicians often taking over half the space.
There’s a special place in my heart for bars that might not offer extravagant cocktails drunk through swirly straws, but serve the best batch of wine and zivania produced on this island, and don’t feel the need to go crazy on the prices either. It’s all in the difference between selling a name in a drink and simply selling a drink with the sole aim of the drinker’s enjoyment.
I’ve only experienced the bar at night, but the place is open by 9am, serving the first coffees to people hidden behind newspapers or observing people rushing to work with a backdrop of the Omeriye Mosque.
Where: Patriarchou Grigoriou 1, Nicosia