By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Since opening in November 2015, the new Bar 48, located on Rua Teixeira de Melo, 48 just off of Praça General Osório in Ipanema, has been growing in popularity and becoming a top nightlife destination in Rio. Launched by two French expatriates and a Brazilian partner, the large open, industrial but modern space is usually found full of beautiful Cariocas and foreigners enjoying DJs and live music.
The team that launched Bar 48 are; Bertrand Claerr, from France but has lived in Brazil for eight years working in real estate, Guillaume Humphry, also French but has lived in Brazil for two years working in digital marketing, and Danielle Herdy dos Santos, who is Claerr’s Brazilian wife, and also the Bar 48 designer.
The first thing a long-term expatriate in Rio will notice is the location, which is on the block entering the Cantagalo favela community. It is a street that may have felt unsafe before 2009 when the UPP and pacification program was brought to the area, along with the elevator serving residents of the Cantagalo/Pavão-Pavãozinho communities opened.
The next thing, and the first thing that everyone else will notice, is the music and good-looking crowd filling the large open front, with some outdoor seating made of industrial barrels and wooden crate seats. The interior adds some plush bench seating and walls adorned with street art-styled murals and a silent movie flickering against one side.
Rio has seen Ipanema’s Praça General Osório area continue to be revitalized, and Bertrand Claerr explains how the bar location was found. “We were looking for a place to open a bar in Zona Sul [South Zone]. It was after visiting three locations we found our place [and] realized the potential of the space in two seconds, and signed the contract super fast.”
Claerr goes on to describe, “There were four months of renovation to get everything ready, it generated a lot of public curiosity, then the opening process was surprising at the beginning, as at the opening we had 300 people in the space, and since the bar 48 has always been very well attended.”
Anyone who as done any research into opening a business in Rio or Brazil has heard the warnings, and Claerr tells, “The hardest part of the opening was the paperwork, get the definitive release of license for Bar Restaurant in Rio de Janeiro is very complicated, but finally it worked out!”
He adds “And the greatest reward is to see our customers who leave happy, speaking very well of the Bar, and always return and indicate to friends.” In the future Claerr explains, “The purpose of Bar 48 is to provide a multi-cultural space, and a promise to our guests a variety of events during 2016 and the coming years, involving culture, art, fashion food and good music.”
The new establishment is well on its way to being the top destination in Ipanema and perhaps Zona Sul, with their mix of style and accessibility, local and foreign clientele, attentive service with affordable drinks, great music and of course, the promise of a great night out.