Sunday, February 21, 2016
|Small alcoholic drink selection in Montifiore, a cafe during the day and bar at night (Ibn Gvirol @ Arlozorov)|
Monday, August 18, 2008
Street dancing on Dizengoff: the Israeli rap generation
It seems like Tel Aviv is having a low level cultural war. Not one that you hear about in the newspapers or TV. The bar culture is being attacked by residents through city hall. No need for alarm, Tel Aviv is not going to be a dry city any time soon*. But there are rumors and and article here and there that "the city" is out to close bars in residential areas. Essentially they enforce a few noise and public smoking laws harshly. I heard of the noise issue from bar owners and bartenders. I also heard of the no-smoking "police" lurking around bars and the staff running around putting out cigarettes (fine of 1,000 shekel for patron, 5,000 for the establishment). If you are a bar kind of person you probably think this is unfair. Why have bars, give them permission to operate, have people come and find a place to socialize and create a community just to close it down for some noise and smoke excuse? If you own or just bought an expensive apartment in a good location you take the opposite side: why doesn't the city keep the city organized? Why can't we have quiet nights and smoke free places? Why do we have to live next to a virtual sex hotel where the young of the city come to enjoy anonymous sex** and a few good drinks? Well, there you have the issue at hand. As Tel Aviv becomes more cosmopolitan it attracts the kind of people who not only want but actually demand the bar scene. The "alcohol culture" which comes with other British and American imports (business, culture, people) is steadily making it's way into the Tel Aviv night life. The "kids" which you see in the bars are not going to be satisfied by Israeli folk dancing and telling stories around the campfire on the beach. That was fine for their grandparents. But if you are going to ask them to do high-tech software, banking, and advertising on international scale, with Europeans and Americans, they want to go to pubs and bars just like in London or LA. This is what in some cultures get banned. The Muslims and Christian fundamentalists mostly in Asia (that includes the Arab countries on the middle east) live in fear of corrupting their young ones. But the cost is freedom to society. Well, let the story continue, we will keep the story going as we see what is going on here. Please post a comment or send an e-Mail if you have any news on the matter - T H A N K S !
* a dry city or county in American slang is a location free of alcohol, both sale and consumption (in public places).
** there is an image of free sex in bar bathrooms has taken hold in Tel Aviv. Apparently this was a popular form of entertainment for the 20 something. From what you see today it's only in very few bars and very few people. Read More...
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
No need for refined graphics, "The Lobby" is quiet and classy.
"The Lobby" is a small bar on Bazel Street (#30) in Tel Aviv. It opened two years ago in a very quiet location. I can't believe that the owners planned on opening a pick-up bar with strong drinks. Well, this is not exactly a "classical" pick-up bar. The location is just one aspect. Most people would assume that a pick-up bar is going to be in a desolate industrial zone where there is plenty of room and parking and only the desperate and sexually adventurous would be trolling dark bars in search of a one-night-stand. Pick-up bars also come in the glitzier variety catering to lonely business types with a few extra dollars to buy a broken hearted girl a drink. Somehow "The Lobby" has become what I would call a "locals'" pickup bar. Since tourists and business travelers usually take over the bar scene in the city in search of a willing one-nighters partner, there has to be a place for the locals. My "locals" term is describing not just Tel Avivians but also out of town Israelis looking for Israelis and not foreigners. You may think that this is a little discriminatory on the side of Tel Avivians or even Israelis. But a few visits to "The Lobby" and you will see that the place is comfortable and friendly. There is the sexual tension of a pickup bar but also a feel of a friendly neighborhood drinking hole. To some this makes "The Lobby" a less intimidating place.
The Lobby is essentially a small room that holds about 30 people. There is a long counter on the right side of the room where two barman mix strong traditional drinks. Doreen the waitress (a twenty something divorce lawyer by day) was recommending the large Mojito (a liter of rum, sugar, and your favorite juice with lime) or a Long Island Ice Tea. On hot Tel Aviv summer nights, the Caribbean drinks seem to be the weapon of choice here. "The Lobby" is furnished in comfortable seating, high tables and chairs and decent bar stools at the counter. There is definitely a "regulars" arrangement with reserved spots at the counter and some reserved tables. The lighting is muted but not the kind of dark that you can't see a face 10 feet in front of you.
The drinks are strong and big. Besides the regular western (European) drinks there is a good selection of Caribbean / Cuban / Mexican drinks. I was a little disappointed when they didn't have a traditional summer Sangria with ice. "The Lobby's" version is served warm for cold winter nights. Staff at "The Lobby" is young and energetic. They greet most guests as if they are regulars, even the ones which are there for the first time. Even a group of 20 something girls which seem to have one-nigher pickup on their mind seem to be welcomed by Doreen and the barman. Overall I give "The Lobby" a high score. If you are looking for a comfortable neighborhood bar for a good drink and a slice of pizza this is the spot. If you are looking for a pickup bar, come here on Wed. to Friday (the other nights are a little slow). [The Lobby, 30 Bazel, Tel: 03-5462714 - Note: This area has little to no parking at night.] Read More...
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tel Aviv is starting to show spring colors. In other cities that would be flowers and green leaves. Or street performance of magic and music in the town squares. Here it's romance and food. What are the colors of romance and food? Well, it's smiling faces, colorful plates, shiny windows, and more cloths in pastels than black. The weather is starting to allow comfortable outside sitting, and there are still a the enclosed glass shelters from the winter. Like urbanites in Europe and N. America, Tel Avivians feel the awakening of spring weather and light. If you come from a cold weather country you may think about how exaggerated spring for Israelites is, but never the less, spring brings "street colors". For me this is people in cafes, parks, and boulevards. With small apartments and getting smaller (this phenomena of making a small apartment into two smaller ones will be dealt with in another article), good selection of cafes, bars, and restaurants. So for Tel Avivians social living outside is the way of life, no matter what Venicians or Parisians say, Tel Aviv thinks they are the best at this. On any day you can find people in cafes working (laptop services like WiFi and power is available in many places), couples romancing, and students studying. If you come from a US college town this would seem natural, and if you lived or visited Paris, Venice, or Barcelona the crowds would make you feel that deja-vue again.
Arlozorov & Iben Gvirol: Cars, Horses, and Cafes - Eat, Drink, and Romance
The business world has not missed this phenomena and preference of street living. On any day you will find architects presenting plans to clients, insurance and investment proposals discussed, and interviews for high-tech and retail sales jobs in many cafes and one or two bars. With the attitude of 'mind your own business ~ please', most people are not afraid to discuss their most intimate personal issues like salaries, finances, and even sexual habits. For the most part, the people in the next table are anonymous and do not seem to care even if they overhear something juicy. During the day cafes seem to have more business and school activity than the rest of the day. During the evening hours romancing and 'starting' ~ a term for hitting on the 'girl next table' is much more common. The main Tel Aviv boulevard have been lined with tables from restaurants for many years. The amount and agressiveness of the table placement seem to follow both the weather and the general economic mood of the city. Now the weather is warming up and the economy seem to be taking a short rest. So let the tables get moving begin.
Spruced up flower bed in a walking path, outdoor living is not limited to cafes
If your style is more sporty or does not fall into sitting around, there are plenty of walking paths, beaches, and parks to run around. Biking and jogging is slowly coming back with the warm weather too. So is simple walking and bench warming. Tel Aviv seem to be taking this pass time also well with spruced up flower beds, repaired paths, and freshly painted park benches. Again, these are not limited to the older set kibitzing. On any evening you will find plenty of teen agers and 20-somethings hugging and kissing in a hidden spot. Also, the ever present teen age groups are going to find a bench or a street corner to congregate and enjoy a warm evening outdoors. So get out... and come enjoy the city... Read More...
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Happy bar owner with sports figures... go figure, but cute ;~)' So you can't find a ticket to the football game or affort the plane ticket to go to your favorite English Premier League game??? Too bad ;-( -- -- WAIT a second... I have an answer for you. Get up and to to 275 Dizengoff Street (Tel: 03-605-1007) to the M.A.S.H. Sports Bar (MASH stands for More Alcohol Served Here).
At the MASH you will find many compatriots. It's not quite like being there, but its' as close as you'll ever get without getting on a plane. The MASH has a real sports bar atmosphere, dark and cool when the action is slow, hot and noisy when the game is going full bore. When the game is good, you will find English, American or even Russian / Ukrainian fans screaming and jumping like the best of them. This is one place where you can cheer and boo just like you were in the stadium and barely get noticed. You may even find an opposing team fan who is a great noise sparring partner. Don't worry, it's all in good fun, no real head bashing or beer mug throwing here at all. They tend to carry all the big games that make sense. Specially football (British meaning, soccer for you Americans) and basketball. But you can also request any other event if you have a group, they may even put your 'American Football' game on a side screen or the main projection screen if no local sport team is playing somewhere. You would be amazed how many games and Israeli + a tourist fan can come up with! No kidding, some times of the year it's non-stop from about 6PM to when you wish to go home. Oh, another thing about Israeli bars, they will "close the kitchen" at 2:00AM but you can stay to see the game if you are making enough noise and buying beer. MASH mascaraed as a timid bar...
Also, the MASH has lovely servers which will provide any alcoholic drink or bar food item. They have a decent selection if beers, ales and mixed drinks. The M.A.S.H. will also take care of your hunger with burgers, hot dogs, schnitzel, french fries, onion rings and a complete English Breakfast (served hot anytime).
... come cheer your team, enjoy the booze and have a nosh at the M.A.S.H. // sam-d (back on the blog, in T"A) Read More...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
If you walk around the streets of Tel Aviv and take the time to look, one place you may want to walk around is the hip and newly renovated Neveh Tzedek area. This is one of the oldest areas of Tel Aviv with beautiful architecture. The last few years, artists, gallery owners and small boutiques have been taking over and renovating. some say it is too late to move in. But is you want to shop or eat a nice meal, come down to 1 Echad Ha'am to the Nana Bar and Restaurant. This is a medium size restaurant with a full menu. In the front you will find a nice sitting area with a nice bar leading to the eating area. You can tell the age of the building by the inside courtyard which serves as an outside "room" especially on warm evenings.
Outside Nana is not impressive.
The restaurant is decorated in antique large tables which makes for an old homey feel. I sat outside on a warm evening in the beginning of October. The atmosphere was nice and the service was good and not hurried. At about 9:30 PM the place was almost full. Most of the tables were occupied by groups of four or more. We ordered salmon, steak and a serving of lamb pieces for main course. For starters I have a squash-sweet potato soup with ginger. We also had traditional Yemenite lamb meat soup, salty and thick. We also shared a nice green salad. The meat dishes were outstanding both the cuts and the preparation and seasoning. For desert we shared a creme brule and an ice cream with fruit sauce (berries and liqueur). They also had a nice selection of cocktails and aperitifs which I would recommend above everything. Nice to have a good restaurant with a good bar. Overall, this is one nice place, take a look at their site (in Hebrew) and come for a visit. If anything, you can stroll around the streets and window shop, or order a drink at the bar and puff on a cigar!
Photo from the Nana Bar and Restaurant site
Ratings -- Ambiance: 8/10 -- Main Dishes: 7/10 -- Specialties: 8/10 -- Location 9/10 -- Service: 6/10 -- Cost: 80-120 Shekel -- Value: 8/10 Read More...
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Local musicians carry on Irish music
Last week I went out to see some live Irish music at Molly Blooms on Ha'Yarkon and Mendele Streets. The bar has a 'live music' room where Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the flat screen is turned off and a bunch of local musicians take on the role of local entertainers. This is a 'jam session' but I have to admit, its one of the most entertaining one I have been to in Tel Aviv. This past Wednesday one of the drinkers also took to the floor with Irish jigs that would warm an Irishman's heart. And we all clapped in tempo. The bar is what I would call a real Irish 'style' place. I liked the quiet demeanor of the clientele, there for a pint of beer and a serving of Fish and Chips. The menu is limited, but than again, there are plenty of good restaurants in this part of town. This is a place to hang-out with friends and down a beer or a shot of whisky with a chaser.
Milly is Molly Blooms' logo
The bar has two rooms off the main 'bar' room. One is the 'live music' room which you see in the pub photos, a round room sticking out from the building like a giant bay window. The second room in the back is more suited for diners. Set up like a small restaurant, you can have the warmth of an Irish bar with a nice table for a group dinner. Last Wednesday, the music started at about 9:30 PM but the bar was still mostly empty. By midnight the place was packed and the dinner room had a waiting list. By the looks of it, half of the people were tourists and business people. The location is in middle of the 'hotel row' of the beach front. The other half are local 20's and 30's crowd looking for a good place to enjoy a cold Irish beer or a good shot of whisky. Molley's serves a good selection of bottled Irish beers a great selection of single and double malt whiskies.
So if you are in a mood for some Irish drinking, music or just a cool place to land for a while. Give Molley's a go ~ drinking and jigging in the city, Tel Aviv that is, AmiV Read More...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Fine French Bread at the Brasserie M&R
Want to go to Paris for dinner tonight? (but stay in Tel Aviv?) You don't need to rush to the airport or even bother your travel agent. Pick up your phone and make a reservation at the Brasserie M&R at 03-69-67-111 (see virtual turist). The call will hook you up with one of the nicest French restaurant in central Tel Aviv. Its located across from Rabin square at 90 Iben Gvirol street.
This restaurant and bar is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The menu varies with the time of day. In the morning, Brasserie serves a traditional French breakfast menu with that wonderful large cafe au-lait in a large open mug. On Fridays and Saturdays a special breakfast with eggs Benedict and other more traditional French breakfast dishes is offered. Other times of the day lunch, dinner and late night menus offer traditional French dishes. Bread is baked on the premises as should be in a good French restaurant.
Brasserie M&R has indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoors you will find comfortable tables and chairs in a glass enclosed area. This section of Iben Gvirol has wide sidewalks and restaurants take advantage of the nice weather for outside seating. Inside there is a modern French brasserie atmosphere. The decor is modern and clean with black and white dominating the color scheme. Menus are in Hebrew and French, but the wait staff will easily help anyone with English and French orders.
Enjoy France in the city, Tel Aviv bistro at it's best... //sam-d-man
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Escort and Massage Biz-Cards (read below)
Tonight you want to continue your nightlife your you may want to start at Bukowski, located at corner of Dizengoff and Frishman (39 Frishman). Come about 9:00 PM and stay until you want to go. This is a low priced bar with a friendly upbeat vibe. The service is charming and helpful. Music is basic 80's. This is a fun bar with an easy going feel. No Cover.
Now you may want to try the Levonitin located at 11 Levonitin just off Allemby. This spot has an oriental touch. The food is good and the music is different every night. Go to the Levontin and enjoy yourself and meet new people.
We will end this part of the nightlife tour of Tel Aviv at the Blounlich loacted at 32 Rothchild. This is a hot spot with stylish yuppie crowd. This bar has a good variety of drinks and alcohol. Music is 80's and 90's and dancing is a good here. You will find men and women flirting and teasing, while they enjoy their favorite drink. This bar is known as a pick-up joint. So, if you want to hook-up, see you at the Bloumlich. Opens at 9:00 PM, closes when the last customer leaves // sam-d-man
If you wonder around Tel Aviv early on Saturday morning, you may be baffled by the business cards on the ground. In Tel Aviv, massage, escort, rave and other "sex industry" services are advertised with business cards, post cards and fliers. It's probably a consequence of the strong Tel Aviv printing industry, which makes these cards cheap and quick to print (you can have 1,0000 cards for about 500 shekels). At first, it might seem that Tel Aviv has a large amount of these services. But in reality, you need to be on your toes to spot a sign tucked into a side street or between buildings to find these services. So don't worry about the "decadence" in the city, it's there, so you can have it -- but it will not encroach on your visit here! Read More...
Monday, September 3, 2007
Party Invitation, Vox Populi
Bars, pubs and clubs are great places to relax and hook-up with people. Not being an expert on the late night scene, I asked a young lady with direct personal experience for some information. Tel Aviv night life begins 'late' in comparison to other places, usually between 9 and 11 PM. The 'night' goes on all night until morning. You can expect people to be out every day of the week, but from Wednesday to Saturday the scene is really going strong. My friend Lilat gave me a good background on the night scene. Here are a few night spots that are active at this point in time (Summer 2007). Editor's note: notice that the club scene changes quickly in Tel Aviv, what you read here now may not be accurate in a few months. Ask around and get updated information from people who seem to know their night time scene.
Molly Bloom's, an Irish pub, 24 Raul Wallenberg, Ramat Ha'chayal, is a good place to start and evening. The bar has a small menu and there is a full dinner menu. Lilat suggests the deserts if you are going to start with bar food and a drink. There is a good selection of beer, wine, liquor and cocktails. The crowd is friendly in the age group of 25+. Molly Bloom's is open Friday from 9 PM to the 'last customer'. Sunday to Thursday open 8 PM to the last customer, no cover charge.
Lima Lima is located at Lilliablum 42 is a hot dance bar. Good drinks are served all night, 7 nights a week from 9 PM to the last customer. Lima Lima is where the beautiful people of Tel Aviv com to dance, groove to the music or just lounge in the bar. Go to Lima Lima for fun int he city, no cover.
// sam-d-man from Tel Aviv Read More...
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Look for a mate for the night or if you have one, you may like to try "Mate" the bar. This is a neat small bar at 226 Dizengoff near Jabotinsky in north Tel Aviv. There is a comfortable bar that will accommodate 15 - 20 people. Also there are numerous tables for your enjoyment. The Mate has a wide variety of beer, wine, liquors and cocktails.
The Mate also has a variety of bar food available for it's customers. The menu changes, but you can usually find hummus, stuffed grape leaves, cheese and deli meat plates on the menu.
You will also usually find numerous men and women who like to hook up for the night. A popular spot for sport watching on a hot game night. This is a nice neighborhood bar for a night or just a drink and 'hello, how are you...' The Mate also has a big screen TV and usually provides any hot sporting event for viewing to its customers. There is no cover charge or minimum at the 'Mate'
Enjoy the city - enjoy the mate, sam-d-man Read More...