It’s a curious facet of modern life that anything from the 1970s is cool. Especially if it was on TV. Take Kojak, for example, named after the bald, hard-bitten, fast-talking New York cop of the same name, whose trademark was that he constantly sucked a lollipop while firing off wisecracks. Not forgetting his catchphrase, ‘Who loves ya, baby?’
He was played by Greek-American actor Aristotelis ‘Telly’ Savalas, whose name now hums in neon red over the door of this new bar in Higienópolis. Not that he’d know it, of course: Savalas, a keen golfer, died in 1994. The bar’s theme – if indeed it has one – is the many framed photos of cult TV shows and films, which led one patron to dub it ‘Astronete without the dancefloor.’ Wrongly, as it happens: an impromptu pista does occasionally break out between the tables.
Cinematic references aside, what Suíte Savalas is really all about is a New York-style, no-nonsense bar – eminently welcome in a city with such a gaping void between pavement boteco and upwardly mobile, designer lounge poncery. The low red lights and clean-without-being-pristine-interior fill up with a young, agreeably mixed bunch of customers. Rumours that the owners are planning a Cagney & Lacey surf’n’turf bar’n’grill are, sadly, unfounded.