It’s no longer much of a secret that concealed behind a door at the back of Candelaria’s corridor Taco restaurant is a hidden bar. Nevertheless, there is a certain clandestine thrill in discovering it for the first time. Shuffle sideways past the cluster of people eating tacos perched at the restaurant bar and open the painted wooden door. Be carried by the throng to a dimly lit cave that opens out into an animated cocktail bar.
Women in black roll-necks drink darkly from elaborate cocktails. Well-dressed groups lounge nonchalantly in dark corners and tattooed men stand propped-up against the bare brick walls.
Behind the crowded bar two dynamic bartenders put on a vigorous display as they artistically execute your cocktail of choice.
Pop In draws a vibrant Indie crowd. Expect Gallagher-brother haircuts, skinny jeans on skinnier legs and canvas shoes. A useful tip is to sit with a friend at a corner table and ensure there is plenty of space at the table for various people to leave their drinks whilst they go outside to smoke. Create a warm ambience at your corner table by engaging in convivial conversation and casual laughter with your companion. The gathering crowd of fur-hooded, Moncler-clad young men will no doubt cast an inquisitive eye in your direction, and seizing on an opportunity for light-hearted conversation will leave their drinks at your table to guard for a few minutes. The entire scenario is aided by the sign posted on the door forbidding drinks outside. The beverage of choice leans towards beer, if you order a Martini it will arrive in a tumbler. To take a sip from one of the glasses of beer abandoned foolishly at your elbow would be perfectly acceptable and would probably go unnoticed.
Panic Room is a backstreet hideaway that gathers a faithful following. The chalkboard wall in the centre encourages an interactive evening and the films screened behind the bar offer an occasional distraction, should conversation lull. The bar offers an experimental range of cocktails and gin of considerable strength and questionable origin. The crowd is eclectic, and friends tend to arrive in large groups to socialise with one another. This encourages a diverse range of people; a soft-faced young model dressed in an electric blue suit with brown leather shoes alongside his long-haired, bearded, companion in black jeans and nondescript sweatshirt. The party continues downstairs in a brick cave promoting electronic music to the delight of a huddle of eager dancers.