Pastis, a latin style mixture in the Bologna night
I remained happily a captive of the Via Belvedere in Bologna, even after Fun Cool Oh and headed towards the Market Hall, where a spectacular and vibrate street night life was concentrated all over, on its stairs and in front of it, on the street.
The name was Mercato delle Erbe, which means the Market Hall of herbs. This is a daylight picture of it:
As I got to know later, in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy it was a stable for Austro-Hungarian horses. I catched the door open in the very last minute before closing time, and I could sneak in behind the guards’s back to have quick look around. All the visitors were led out already, but I still had the chance to see the night shift people having a round table conversation and dolce vita drinking party between two stands, laughing and drinking from the bottle.
On the street people were sitting or standing in groups with glasses in their hands. My Italian teacher had warned me not be surprised when a normal night will look like a festival. The Via Belvedere was a good example. The crowd was so big at the bar entrances, that I had to realize the next day, that the two pubs in front of me were actually three and only on the third day, that they were four indeed.
From the believed “two”, I picked the closer one first. One retro name plate – very kind for my taste – showed that this is a “bar”,
but the door led to a surprisingly modern, trendy interior.
This was Pastis (stop Nr. 345, Bologna stop Nr. 3 – after 2 visits), opened in 2015, one and a half year ago. The name comes after the famous french anise liquor, what they actually have and serve her in different kinds, even as part of cocktails.
The first two things that caught me were the spectacularly tasty Moroccan antique tiles and the trendy illuminating letters of the bar’s name hanging down in the back of the room.
The interior designer did a good job, despite the mostly well-know elements, it became a harmonic, lively composition, and a particular, colorful atmosphere. I have to emphasize the surface of this seat.
About the counter I could find out, that it comes from Amsterdam. The barman who made the cocktails like a magic trick, told me that this place a mixture, a bit of Amsterdam, a bit of France, a bit of Spain and of course a bit of Italy. I never been to Spain yet, but I naively thinking, this is how I imagine it.
I came here two nights in a row. For the first occasion, I was there the night before the national fest (<I was hit by this revelation only the next day). The place was completely full, I couldn’t seat down, I was sipping my drink standing at the bar. Of course I didn’t mind. The next day, the terrace was dominant, inside it was much calmer.
The defined themselves mostly as a cocktail bar, but they are also pub and bistro – they said. For this reason they were open in two shifts. From noon till 2:30PM and in next round from 6PM till midnight. But before the national holiday I arrived after midnight and I stood over the Spritz Bianco (4 euro) leisurely and not I didn’t leave for the closing even this way.
Here I could see either young people and either middle age ones, but mostly youngsters. On calmer days in is intended for a date too, but also for bigger groups of girls and boys. On the second night it was ideal for me to rest here after the vibrant first whole day in Bologna. On the tap there were mainly import beers, but I could point out one Italian, from the even norther part of the country, around Milano: Doppio Malto – Mahagony IPA. They only sold in 4 dl portion for 5 Euro. It was a decent good IPA, nothing special, nothing wrong.
It is vibrant enough just to think back at Pastis. Coming here between two others pub crawl stops or celebrating the end of the day here, must be a bulls eye as a Bologna resident. Four people were on duty at once, they were buzzing around the bar, also eating tasty looking apertivios from the own kitchen. This is the best commercial, when the inner staff like the house bites. It seem to be a friendly circle of colleagues. The clients also liked this, they were also involved in this aura. Despite being cool, the staff must be quite professional for a cocktail bar, you could make a wallpaper of the diplomas and awards in the topic. Of course, they also sing in the bar, when some Latin melodies flow in the air from the radio, for example Manu Chao, and the guest girls at the bar were dancing for the music. You can catch some remarkable frames here.
My next stop was the assumed next bar, Bar Mercato. I didn’t know yet, what a treasure I will find.
Facebook page for Pastis: https://www.facebook.com/Pastis.belvedere/?fref=ts
Address is Via Belvedere 7/C, Bologna
Previous posts in the series of Bologna-Padova series: