A quirky bar with some cool bartending moves, a delicious drinks menu, live music and a stunning jazzy ambience are staple elements of a popular bar. However, some of the world’s most unusual bars have taken these a few notches higher to create an out-of-the-world experience that is simply unbelievable. By Trinetra Paul
From unusually themed walls with interesting paintings to bespoke cocktails for sipping on — today’s unique bars are elevating the whole partying and dining experience like never before. Gone are the days when you just come in, sit and order a drink. Nowadays unusual themed bars put their best foot forward to get the guests immersed in whacky ideas and settings.
From a solid ice igloo to an underwater experience amid sharks and fish — be ready to get bowled over by some of the most distinctive bars in the world, making you wonder, how can someone actually come up with such an idea. Well, if you want to make your drinking experience more quirky and unusual, it is time to plan a trip to the cities having some of the world’s coolest bars.
Take a look at some of the unusual bars around the world serving unique drinks
Rock Bar, Indonesia
Amp up your regular sunset views from a lounge bar with the Rock Bar in Bali, located within the Ayana Resort and Spa at Jimbaran Bay. Built around 14 m above the Indian Ocean, atop rocky formations along the pristine coast of Jimbaran, Rock Bar Bali is widely touted as one of the most stunning bars in the world. An open cable car ride takes you to the cliff top bar full of an amazing dose of entertainment.
Spend quality time with your close ones while enjoying upbeat music at the DJ booth and jaw-dropping sights of the limitless ocean as waves come crashing on shingles. Sip on a cold beer while gazing at the horizon or if you fancy an exotic cocktail, they have a line of delectable drinks inspired by the ocean like Wakatobi or When I Sea U, or those inspired by the sun like Chasing the Sun and Rock My World. A delectable food menu and wine menu are also there to accentuate the experience.
Icebar Stockholm, Sweden
Icebar is literally the coolest bar on the list. The quirky bar, located in Sweden’s capital city Stockholm, takes the subzero temperature quite seriously and is entirely made of ice.
It is the world’s first permanent ice bar maintaining a perennial temperature of -5 degrees celsius and can accommodate up to 60 people. Taking things to another level, everything inside this bar is made of ice which is sourced from the Torne River. Around 40 tonnes of ice is used to rebuild the bar every year. Right from the tables, sculptures and the neon decor to the glasses in which the bartenders serve your drink, everything is solid ice. Guests are given ice capes and gloves to experience a slice of the tundra and keep themselves warm.
Icebar has a range of cocktails and a delicious food menu. Sip on drinks like the Starry Sky, Hot Spot and Bright Ice or sample their dinner menu with family and friends. Children are also allowed and can try colourful non-alcoholic drinks.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
Imagine sipping wine or champagne against the backdrop of an exquisite marine life with a shoal of fish swimming past you. That is exactly what happens in the Ithaa undersea restaurant at the Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island.
Situated at the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, the restaurant quietly sits five metres below the sea and is one of the finest of its kind in the world. Serving exquisite fine dining spread and an impressive wine menu, the underwater restaurant offers its guests the opportunity to witness the marine wilderness of Maldives, right from their dinner tables.
Along with fixed lunch and dinner menus, the five-star all-glass restaurant has a wine-matching concept as per which they suggest the right drink with the food, and guests can sip on the likes of Dom Pérignon wine and other selected wines along with the delectable cuisines. Additionally, they also have a mid-morning cocktail menu.
Alux Restaurant and Lounge, Mexico
Taking guests inside a natural cave network in the Yucatan peninsula, Alux Restaurant and Lounge is situated in Mexico’s Playa Del Carmen. What can be more beautiful than savouring a drink in a cave that dates back 1000 years.
The rugged untouched walls and natural plants juxtaposed against the elegantly designed floors and seating arrangements, enhance the place’s aura. Along with bar-side seating and common guest tables, this lounge bar also has private VIP vaults for you to enjoy some personal quality time. The wine bar has some great bottlings while the cocktail menu offers pretty interesting drinks including Stone and Honey, Margalux, Caribe Magico, Rojo Rubi and Memories.
The Bellwood, Japan
Stepping into The Bellwood in Japan’s capital Tokyo is like stepping inside a 20th-century vintage Japanese coffee shop known as Kissaten in Japanese. The swanky watering hole is the perfect blend of retro and modern decors like its stained glass bearing the name and its wooden chairs and tables.
The drink menu, crafted by the cocktail wizard master and Chivas Masters World Champion (2017) Atsushi Suzuki, includes some well-known recipes with a heavy Kissaten coffee and tea influence. For instance, instead of a typical espresso martini, you can find a drink called Udabra here. It is a frozen coffee-based drink, made with Bacardi Ocho, café con Leche, barrel-aged rum and sesame. Another great option is the Genmai Truffle Sazerac which is prepared with shochu, truffle and raw honey. No wonder this unusual bar in Tokyo ranked 76 in the 2021 extended list of World’s 50 Best Bars.
The place is also known for Thai-inspired ramen and other delicious nibbles and munchies. It conducts blind cocktail pairing sessions, helping the guests pick the right drink with a specific food. Additionally, it hosts experimental pop-ups like modern sushi in its backroom known as The Bellwood Lab, to help guests to know more about modern Japanese cuisine and pairings. It is known to serve some of the best varieties of sushi in Japan.
Milky Way, Canada
Just as the name suggests, this bar in Montreal is sure to transport you to the outer world. A black spiral staircase leads to its entrance, which opens doors to a dimly yet elegantly lit quirky bar with jungle-themed skylights.
Comprising a huge wine bar with an interesting cocktail menu and a comfortable lounge, the place doesn’t take prior reservations or maintain a guest list. To be fair to all, once there is a lineup, Milky Way only allows groups of six or less.
A part of the Barocco Group, Milky Way whips up some delectable drinks and cocktails. Guests can enjoy pours like Fake It Till You Make It, Marcus Hibiscus or Ballin in Paris. Besides such out-of-the-world cocktails, one can choose from a huge array including wines, tequilas, mezcals and whiskies. The bar food, too, is heavenly and includes scrumptious varieties of pizza and pasta.
Ranked 95 in The World’s Best 50 Bars and 26 in Asia’s Best Bars of 2021, Hoots is a cosy, intimate and dimly lit plush bar in the Indian capital New Delhi’s Vasant Vihar neighbourhood.
The establishment is gaining momentum among cocktail fans and is the first to introduce a world-class cocktail programme in the area. Such is the strategic lighting and dark interiors that guests are automatically made to notice the bartenders’ moves and cocktail making skills.
From an Old Fashion topped with miso and Whisky Sour finished with a chamomile foam to No. 5, an interesting play on a gimlet with gin and Palo Santo Cordial — every drink is creative, innovative and crafted to perfection. Besides these, a wide range of cigars and cheese platters make Hoots one of the coolest bars in town.
The House of Machines, South Africa
Amid the amazing quirky bars in Cape Town, The House of Machines is quite an unusual bar with a contagious vibe.
Built to grow a community, the establishment is all about bikers and riding, and it aims to bring people and machines together. Serving cocktails, craft beer and live music at the DJ booth, The House of Machines is also popular for its coffees and vibrant stores selling biking gears, T-shirts and quirky apparel.
Besides Cape Town, The House of Machines has outlets in the US, Japan and China where everyone is welcome. They can get to know others while bonding over bikes and machines, and drinking delectable gins, rums, whiskies, bourbons and other intriguing cocktail mixes.
(Main and Featured Image Courtesy: Alux Restaurant and lounge)