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Dive into this hideaway haunt, just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Avenida Paulista, where gaudily-decorated walls hung with parrots, fruits and flags of Brazil, pale into the background beside the bar’s star attraction: the cabine cornofônica. It’s an ingenious device that looks for all the world like a British red telephone box.
Inside the cabine, however, you’ll find a box with four buttons which, when pressed, generate a selected ambient sound. So as you make that all-important phone call, why not pretend you’re at the airport, stuck in traffic, caught up in a shoot-out, or even in the midst of a steamy love session?
The bar’s owner, Leopoldo, had the idea in a flash of inspiration: ‘I sat at that table over there and watched people going outside to make calls because they didn’t want to sound like they were in a bar having a drink,’ he explains.
‘So I got someone to make the phone box while I went to record the sounds myself, like holding the mic up to a loudspeaker at Guarulhos airport. It’s been such a success, I even had it patented,’ he says. The humorous touches aren’t confined to the phone box: there’s a smutty dish on the menu in the form of the cassetão – a 12-inch sausage with two big tomatoes at the base. Yes we do, we are afraid, get the picture.
Filled with a mix of office workers and business travellers, happy hour here is always lively. And – genius! – nobody need even know you’re there.
22 Nov 2011.