I first went to Paraty in 2008, and this was the best bar in Paraty. It was extremely friendly, a huge wall of cachaca bottles and great atmosphere. There was a snake in a jar of cachaca gently pickling on the windowsill which you could have some of if you really dared. It was quirky, it was fun and the food was top notch snacky stuff. Sometime between 2009-2010 it moved. I was there last month, May 2012. It has lost everything. It doesn't feel like fun anymore, it feels like a cliquey place, you don't see the staff, but you do hear them, laughing out the back.
Nearly every night, and this REALLY pisses me off, they have some singer with a guitar singing various Brazilian standards. Ok, fine I hear. But you have to pay for that, $R5 cover per person. That's not a lot for 'live music' but you don't get any choice, you want to drink in our bar? ok, you pay, even if you don't want it, even if you'd be happier with no music or a CD, no, you must listen to our amateur sitting on a stool, banging out the 'Girl From Ipanema', loudly, badly, and you must pay for it. Sorry, that's not on.
When we were there last the service was abysmal, there was another couple in the bar, one Scottish the other Australian, all the lady wanted was a gin with the tonic in a separate glass and some water. Ok, I know, when in Rome etc, you should know the language and so on, but the girl working there was desperately obtuse, didn't know what a lime was until i butted in and showed her, and thereafter, decided that it was easier to ignore this couple and go out the back where everyone was having a laugh. The Portuguese for 'gin' is 'gim', it's not exactly a semantic quantum leap you know? and there's nothing that sounds like it but isn't it. Similarly, 'limao' is not a million miles from 'lime'.
All this is such a desperate shame. 4 years ago there's nothing i could have faulted with this place, it was simply the best bar in Paraty. Now I can find little to recommend it, when they have the cover charge and music it's usually empty (take the bloody hint guys!), and even when they don't they have inattentive and unhelpful staff. By all means look at the reviews here, but look at the good ones and how old they are now. I hate to kick this place in the teeth this way, but honestly, it used to be so good. Shame on you guys.
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