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B-bārs

By Amy Bryzgel. 29.09.2008

B-bārs

Doma laukums 2, Riga
Phone: +371 67228842
Wokring hours: Mon-Wed 12:00 - 0:00,Thu 8:00 - 0:00,Fri-Sat 11:00 - 3:00,Sun 11:00 - 0:00,

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This bar is the fancy younger sibling of the original Balsam Bar in Jekaba Kazarma. As such, it strives to be more modern, fashionable and hip. Generally it succeeds thanks to its sleek, warm, chocolate-brown leather interior, which is usually packed on any given night of the week, especially just before a concert in the Dome Cathedral just across the way.

Riga’s Black Balsam (Rīgas Melnais Balzams) is definitely what this place does best. That bitter-sweet elixir has been produced for centuries in Latvia using a variety of herbs and berries, including valerian root, raspberry, bilberry and black peppercorn. Many feel it is perfect just the way it is, taken straight as an aperitif, after-dinner drink, shot, or all-around cold remedy. But b.bars has found a few ways to improve it.

 The Balsam Freshness cocktail is simply that – a tall glass of bubbling citrus refreshment so sweet that you hardly notice the Balsam. You can also try a Balsam Martini, or a Nevainīgais Balzams, which translates as Virgin Balsam, although buyer beware – there is nothing virgin about this drink, unless you consider the Balsam in it to be medicinal, as opposed to alcoholic. Drinks here are a bit pricier than average for Riga – between 5-9 euros, but they are always well prepared and tasty.

 Overall b. bars is a nice place to chill out in if you’re in Old Town. The place is chic and stylish without being pretentious. The large selection of cocktails guarantees that everyone will find what they are looking for, and the sleek design provides candy for the eye even if there is no eye candy around on the night you’re there.




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