Barzinho in Soho Launch
Decidedly different from the stilted Archer Street Bar upstairs which hosts a suited after work crowd, Barzinho is an underbelly of colour where the atmosphere crackles with attitude.
The Brazilian theme hits you upon arrival. Unlike the upstairs bar, the low ceilings work well in Barzinho, exaggerating the sensation of being underground in an intimate and almost illicit basement bar. From the corrugated iron shelves behind the bar to the walls sprayed with cartoon images of Rio’s favelas; the people in charge of the décor have executed it thoroughly and despite a few odd touches – a large baby’s head being painted on the wall for one – their efforts have paid off overall.
Although the décor is impressive, it’s the attention grabbing cocktail menu which is the star of the night. Short but flamboyant and varied, it boasts concoctions like the Redeemer, a punchy and flavoursome Caçhaca based cocktail with a surprising zing of passion fruit. The honey and banana Caipirinha is just as interesting: a frozen smoothie-like cocktail served in a mini tankard with a palm leaf to shield your hand from the cold. The show-stopping cocktail of the night had to be the GoGo Glowstick cocktail, which was served in a coupé glass and garnished with multi coloured glowsticks. Wonderful as the cocktails may be, it is worth bearing in mind that at £11 a drink, this bar is not one for those on a tight budget.
Along with the free-flowing cocktails, the entertainment was also designed to get you in the party mood. The bar staff took it in turns to get up and belt out tunes in soulful and melodic tones, a stunt which energised and delighted the crowd. Following on from the bar staff came the turn of the Brazilian dancers, a larger than life trio who shimmied and gyrated in scant outfits of jewels and oversized feathers. As a team the dancers and the staff worked together to get the crowd moving, cranking up the music and pulling unsuspecting bystanders onto the dance floor to join them. Although the music wasn’t always particularly Brazilian, the atmosphere certainly had a hint of Rio about it!
Barzinho succeeds in bringing Brazilian soul to Soho, despite the non-Brazilian drink prices. For somewhere a little bit different, leave your inhibitions at the door and head downstairs at Archers.
For more information about Barzinho, 3-4 Archer Street, South Soho, London, W1D 7AP, call 0207 734 3342 or click here.