by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
October 14, 2003
With its low lighting, attractive clientele, and decor that for some reason brings to mind FBI Agent Dale Cooper''s surrealistic dreams in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Bembe looks like the kind of place featured in Paper Magazine''s bars section (and it probably has been). But surprisingly enough, the drinks are not priced to the budget of trustfund kids. Most range in price from $5 - $7, including their outstanding house punch. Don''t even think about leaving without trying one (or two or three). I''ve also had a few flavored margaritas that put most others to shame--go with either the strawberry or mango. Of course you can always order up a beer, but for some reason a bottle of Bud Light just seems out of place here.
There''s no posing going on at Bembe. The young, mixed crowd is just here to soak up the environs, groove like Buscape at Bene''s going away party in City of God, and, well, get loaded. Though the DJ booth is on the somewhat narrow main floor, downstairs is where everybody gets down. Even if you''re not up for dancing in tight quarters, you can feel the exuberance of those who are. You can almost cut the amorous heat in the air with a knife. There are a few chairs and movable stools set up across the side, which helps allow conversations to continue even if the music is pumping louder than Doc Brown''s juiced up amp.
Bembe is a smashing post-dinner spot to hit up if you''re on a date, out with your honey, or just with some friends. Check out my entry on the nearby Nar, a tapas bar that''s especially fitting for the night if checking out Bembe later on.
From journal A Week at Home in NYC