Party like a Greengrocer – Green bar, Bologna
Green Bar in Bologna is an inner bar and caffé of the market hall, Mercato delle Erbe with DJ set at Friday and Saturday nights but with party mood even in daylight. It was one of the most pleasant unique hibrid places I’ve ever bumped into on my continuous pub crawl.
On the third day of my Bologna experience the republic day was over and the everyday buzz found its way back to streets of Bologna. I said to the sky: Buongiorno Dio! I was back at my place too, in the beloved Italian colorful crowd. Even Mercato delle Erbe showed a quite different, lively face.
I swear I wasn’t looking for any drinking venue that morning but found one accidentally. I was shopping gifts for home and a coffee within the walls of the market hall. First, I found Green Bar (349. stop, 7. Bologna stop) empty, but the radio was playing some weird horror tale all alone. It was mysterious enough to make me stay.
Soon Nico, a born bar-show-man arrived. His person did make this place a real curiosity. I’ve been to quite a few Market Hall bars before, but none of them was like this one. Here you loose the sense of time easily. Dolce Vita happens here and now, the old fashioned Italian way. The sunlight is outside, but the night is still far away. Not like you could tell from Nico’s sunglasses that he also wear inside.
Originally he is an event organizer and comes to Hungary every year in the last seven years, so we found mutual topics immediately. He and one of his friends ran the place for two years. By looking around some creative elements in the design help to overcome a too plain overall picture.
To be honest, Nico himself was the main “installation item” of all as he raged to the radio music in the bar at 10:30 in the morning.
Priceless scenes accumulated. First a elderly signore stepped in without oral greeting, but pointed up in the air with one forefinger. Nico knew what he means and prepared his coffee and gave him an almost empty bottle of grappa next to it. The gentlemen screwed out the last drops of grappa into his coffee and told me laughingly that he is the artist of bottle squeezing since 1962.
The next customer barely had hair but he managed the rest in the mirror with the famous Italian elegancy. He was the one who revealed me that Mercato delle Erbe used to be a stale for Austrohungarian horses in the time of the Monarchy. I used this knowledge to give a new, “attractive”name to Nico’s special cocktail (containing blue sapphire gin and campari), Austro-Hungarian stable juice. Even thought I didn’t try that one but we did become poisoners that morning. He gave me the spritzer with Schweppes Soda. Mio Dio! He warned me in return that I have to be careful because the word “soda” similar to the English language makes an Italian think of a refresher instead of sparkling water.
Life didn’t stop. The greengrocer lady danced in immediately as Susanna started to play from the radio. She danced with Nico through the whole bar. Few minutes later an older man came in dancing to a Parov Stelar Song. Nico was partying hard in the bar too. Suddenly while concentrating to find a good Italian song on Shazaam, someone was knocking on my shoulder. It was Nico – Amico – he said – and he handed me over a whole grain piadina he made with serrano and mozzarella as a present. Wow!
I wanted to jump in for a coffee during the gift shopping proccess, but I stayed for two hours in the morning with greengrocer cartes on my left and prossecco bottle pops on my right. It just got official that Via Belvedere is a restricted area hard to escape heavily guarded by its barmen. I couldn’t make back to the DJ set that night.
But I encountered Nico and promised that next time I won’t miss it. This was in June, 2016. Unfortunately, I just heard these days he doesn’t work anymore in Green Bar, but I was invited to his new place, Sinatra Café in Budrio, close to Bologna. I am also going to see how Green Bar is without him.
Facebook Page of Green Bar: CLICK HERE
Green Bar Address: Via Ugo Bassi, 25, 40121 Mercato delle Erbe, Bologna (you can approach it from Via Belvedere too)
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Former posts in the Bologna series: