When you live in the suburbs, you can’t help but compare the local nightlife to that of Tel Aviv. “I’m totally over hanging out at bars and clubs until the middle of the night” you explain to anyone who will listen, “at my age open space and clean air is more important to me than where to drink a beer tonight!”
That’s all well and good, until all of a sudden you feel like going out for a beer and wonder where to go. Because all of sudden a friend comes for a visit and she says “Hey, why don’t we go have a drink somewhere nice?” And all of sudden you’ve got to pull some nice place without any unnecessary sophistication that is actually open past 9pm out of your suburban sweatpants
And that’s exactly how I ended up selecting Y Bar in Zichron Yaakov. Just a 15-minute drive and there we were at a real bar, just like in Tel Aviv. Ok, maybe not exactly like in Tel Aviv, but certainly something in the right direction.
The bartender asks if he can help or if he should wait for us to decide on our own. So we decide to let him decide. I get a liqueur called Butter Shot, which, true to its name, tastes a lot like a butter candy. This is a yummy and totally girly drink which is perfect for girls like me who prefer to think they’re drinking hot cocoa rather than alcohol. Ella, the friend that had gotten me here, asks the bartender to guess what she likes.
After a few minutes he served her a pretty red drink in a tall glass. Ella tastes. “There’s not much alcohol in this” she complains as she hands it back the drink. “Actually, there’s quite a bit, I just made it so you can’t taste it” the bartender replies, and returns the misleading glass whose contents will allow her to enjoy the alcohol without having to feel like she’s drinking alcohol.
If the bartender knows how to make drinks for girls that taste like juice but will knock them over, he’s certainly a good one. We move on to checking out the rest of the space: dim bar lighting, black bar stools, large TVs screening sports, music at a volume that allows conversation, a menu with all the standards, and people of all ages that look like local regulars. All the elements of a bar. Along with the drinks we snack on some tasty crispy calamari with lemon and in the end we’re quite satisfied. The owner tells us that every Thursday there are either cool cabaret nights or dance bar nights. “When you ask me what we’ve got here, I say a pub” he says, “drink, music, that’s what it is, that’s what it will be. Without any unnecessary sophistication.”
3 Hashmora, Zichron Yaakov