last year superfuture headed for sofia, and we actually didn't expect to find a city so friendly, scenic and vibrant in its own way. one of the european union's smaller capitals, the urban scene is modest but has a few hidden gems tucked away in side streets. the economic recession has hit bulgaria quite hard, and many empty shop spaces now line the city's most prominent thoroughfares. but although retail has seen dwindling sales, the hospitality sector still seemed to thrive with many establishments buzzing until late at night. the national palace of culture, a bombastic building from the country's communist past and nepotistically instigated by a mighty party leader's priviliged daughter, is nowadays also home to a few hospitality venues and pulls hordes of sofia's recession-proof hipster crowd.
memento is one of the popular spots within the complex and last week it launched sister establishment right next door that's a perfect gathering place on balmy nights. simply called the cocktail bar, it lives up to its name while offering a great outdoor setting with views of the surrounding park and the shimmering city lights in the distant. given that fact that the national palace of culture is a listed landmark building, no drastic interventions were allowed. nevertheless the black + white-themed setting looks good, featuring a sizeable bar as the centerpiece, surrounded by big parasols and various seating areas. the cocktail bar's crew know their stuff and yet find room to improvise or willingly tweak classic recipes whenever it's requested. cheers! location: national palace of culture, ploshchad bulgaria 1 [central sofia].