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For those who prefer to steer clear of grittier joints, Meza heralded a new era of ‘alt-preppy’ bars for those ones who felt a touch of paulistano vibes were missing from the carioca scene. Its success led to the opening of now-defunct doiZ, a smaller incarnation with a dancier dynamic on the same Botafogo street, and now it is Lapa's turn to get on the receiving end of the group's trademark electronic music soundtrack and signature neon-heavy, eclectic style.
With Rodrigo Pena, the man behind playful occasional Sunday party Bailinho, joining forces with owner Fabio Batistella, the signs look good for the crowds already forming to keep flocking back. Above the bar is a queer display of model saints and sinners from Hong Kong Phooey to Mother Mary, rearing up behind the DJ booth that itself sits over the bar. Classic cocktails emerge from within, and an events programme that takes in everything from stand-up comedy, pop-up theatre shows and impromptu performances provides a refreshing alternative to the all-pervading samba of Rua Lavradio and its surrounds.
Hungry folk are catered for with traditional light bites earning a swift makeover - the fried chicken is given a parmesan cheese crust, jerk beef is the moist rump meat and the humdrum cheese pastel comes filled with gorgonzola, more parmesan and queijo minas. The first Saturday of the month, as the street outside fills with the sights and sounds of the Feira do Rio Antigo market, Barzinho hosts a live music and feijoada special, where the rich pork and bean stew is served up to a soundtrack of live samba.