Wanted: A Cowboy

“As I listened to the crooning of the singer and to the sounds of the electric guitar, I enjoyed my favorite martini, with a touch of sour-mix that made it all the more fun…” Keren Vizner visited the Carson Bar in Jaffa (Yafo), took in the live shows and special atmosphere, and felt like she was in the Wild West.

If I had to define myself, I would say that I am a girl who loves to try new things, stay trendy, and especially experiencing new and strange avenues. This is clearly evident in the way my friends and I select the places to which we go out: we are set on finding places that don’t necessarily lead to a consensus among people, but rather, places with a different atmosphere, a dark character, mysterious and intriguing. And so it was, that on Thursday evening, we found ourselves in Jaffa’s Carson Bar, which promised a different type of outing. The bar, located in northwestern Jaffa, can be easily found even by those who haven’t been to it before or received detailed instructions.

We stepped deep into the Carson Bar, and sat in the southern corner. The d?cor is classy, with warm lighting, intimate, and nostalgic – reminiscent of the darker bars of yesteryear. From the second we stepped into the Carson Bar, we felt like we were going through the Time Tunnel with Tony and Doug (without the hideous golf-neck) and held captive to the charms of the corridors of time and the wondrous journey to our former lives. Most of the clientele is comprised of men (hint hint, ladies). My friend ‘s head immediately turned with each opening of the door in order to check if a real cowboy ala “The Good the Bad, and the Ugly” would make an entrance.

Our barwoman awoke us from our dreamy state, and treated us to some cocktails. Among the drinks I enjoyed at the Carson Bar were “Irish Nuts” – a cream-based cocktail consisting of Irish Cream and walnut liqueur. My friend was perked with a “Campation” – a cocktail made of Campari, -Feigling sour, and passion-fruit, which was refreshing and good for the summertime. The beer served in the Carson Bar (Goldstar) is on tap and runs 22 NIS. If you feel like a chaser, add another 10 NIS. For 49 NIS you can get refills of Goldstar all through the evening.

A good drink is just the ticket for leading up to my first chat with Oren, one of the owners of the Carson Bar. The Carson Bar was opened around a year ago by two army buddies with a common dream – to return the neighborhood pub to the neighborhood and to restore its passed glory. The dream materialized, and beyond the beer-drinking, the concept that guides the Carson Bar is live shows every night. The other half of the duo is Mikey, the beating heart of the establishment. Throughout the night, he can be spotted all over the place, pouring, drinking, and solving problems – absolutely the consummate host.

Oren, the artistic half of the duo, is man of music bands, and according to the barwoman, a wonderful artist himself. Due to his direct connection to the area of stage performance, he greatly invested in the stage and sound system, and gives opportunities to young bands just starting-out, as well as booking known and first-rate artists, to perform before the favorable audience which frequents the Carson Bar.

The night we were there, there was a performance by “Dolly’s Circus”. They are new on the scene and perform original music, in addition to other material. The band’s circus-like performance was electrifying. The charismatic woman, who was the lead singer, sang and danced on the bar to the following satisfying gazes of the male patrons, who to my surprise, knew the words and started singing along with loyal enthusiasm. As I listened to the crooning of the singer and to the sounds of the electric guitar, I enjoyed my favorite martini, with a touch of sour-mix (stirred not shaken, the opposite of Bond) that made it all the more fun.

When the show ended to thunderous applause, we rose from our seats of the last three hours, and made our way to the door, feeling lively the whole way. We liked that we finally found a bar that meets all our criteria: good music, cool crowd (men… men… men…), convenient prices which won’t leave us bankrupt, and a fun atmosphere. Perfect for all types of cowboys and for the women seeking them