A text based on the image of this bar would probably resemble a list. Exhaustive, fascinating, excessive, eclectic, something the eye cannot let go of – just like the shelves that cover the walls in this “pavilion”.
It might begin thus:
A lead soldier, a harlequin, a ceramic teapot, a medal, a figure making a famous rude gesture, a sword, a figure of a pin-up model on the phone, a military helmet, a Rio carnival poster from 1890, airplanes – lots of them, beer mugs of all kinds, diverse emblems and insignia, more warplanes and militaria, a train, a map, an action man, a flag, a bust of Pessoa, one of Bordalo Pinheiro, a football player, a globe, hand fans, an opera diva, two bathers, a parachutist, Betty Boop…
... and so on, and so forth.
For the Pavilhão Chinês is an incredible exercise in excess that calls to mind the German culture of the Wunderkammer, the famous “curiosity cabinet” or “wonder room” of the 16th and 17th centuries, for which collectors gathered all types of marvels that were arriving from recently discovered worlds and territories overseas. It was a period of wonder and expansion of knowledge, and the Wunderkammer were a physical embodiment of that, as indeed the five rooms in this very unique bar remind us.
A bell rings and a waiter dressed de rigeur – black pressed trousers, red waistcoat and bow-tie over white shirt – welcomes the guests and takes them to their table. The atmosphere is animated by talk in various languages, the ambience is that of a cosmopolitan bar where cocktails are sipped and snooker is played.
Of Lisbon’s Historic Shops, this is one of the youngest, despite the fact that practically everything in it relates to days gone by, as if it were a museum as well as a bar. It opened in 1986, preserving the memory of the former business that had occupied the space since 1901. That tact and the whole interior collection is the work of Luís Pinto Coelho, a one-of-a-kind who dreamt all this up and combined all the experience he had accumulated in other bars – Paródia, Foxtrot, Procópio – to give Lisbon this unique space.
Alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, juices, cocktails, sandwiches