By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – From the legendary shores of the Mediterranean to the curved Copacabana beachfront, the iconic Ibiza island (off the coast of Spain) bar and chill-out music pioneers Café del Mar opened the first Latin American outpost this month on Rio’s Avenida Atlântica.
Opened in 1980, the original Café del Mar became the place to see the glorious sunsets, attracting bohemian circles with its prime seafront location.
In particular the ambient jazz, blues and classical music soundtrack marked the bar out from the harder electronic and house music found in the island’s megaclubs.
A distinctive genre of chill-out music developed through the sunset parties and the extensive back catalog of Café del Mar compilation CDs cement the style featuring artists such as Underworld, A.R. Rahman, and William Orbit.
The Balearic beach-side ambiance has been brought to Rio by a group of eight Brazilian electronic music enthusiasts. “A few of us went to Ibiza two years ago and really enjoyed it and had the idea to bring it here”, explains one of the owners, Luis Paulo Brant. “We did an event at the Copacabana Fort. It was just a temporary bar for the event but people really liked it.”
After an extensive refurbishment, the new Café del Mar opened on Avenida Atlântica two weeks ago. With an interior by set designer Mauro Vicente, the bar maintains a highly chic European identity throughout.
The decadently dark restaurant is illuminated with gilded touches on the ground floor and there is a funky bright wave-inspired lounge area upstairs. There is also a terrace and a shop area selling Café del Mar CDs and merchandise.
The Mediterranean flavor continues on the menu courtesy of chef Mariana Rodrigues who has previously worked under the supervision of Roberta Ciasca at Miam Miam and Checho Gonzales at Zaza Bistrô. Tapas offered include batatas bravas, fried cubed potato in spicy tomato sauce (R$14), Spanish omelet (R$11) and Thai prawns grilled in ginger butter with coconut milk and lime zest (R$26) as well as main meals including the famous paella (R$84 for 2 people).
On the bar there is a full selection of international drinks as well as an deliciously intriguing cocktail selection including a Caipi del Mar of vodka, tangerine mint and pepper sugar (R$18), Jam made with gin, passion fruit and apple syrup (R$14) and Tentación martini of rum, amaretto, lemon and apricot (R$20).
Of course the Café del Mar signature is the music. Luscious balearic beats and cool house sounds come courtesy of internationally recognized house DJ and Café del Mar Ibiza resident Hector Lopez, as well as international guest DJs.
Bringing the world’s most famous beach-side chill out brands to one of the world’s famous beaches, Café del Mar promises to bring a new a touch of luxury Ibiza style to the Copacabana promenade. “Copacabana has been a bit abandoned but we’ve created a place where people can come and have fun with good music, great drinks and Mediterranean food” says Luis.
With restaurant open from 6PM and the lounge open from 10PM and plans for a outdoor seating area in front, Café del Mar is a classy new chill out option for the Carioca nightlife scene.
Café del Mar
Open Tuesday to Saturday 6PM to 3AM.
Av. Atlântica, 1.910, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Telephone: (21) 3649-9658