Tumble into this packed little bar from the thrills and spills of late-night Baixo Augusta, the downest-and-dirtiest street in town, and pause for a moment as you take in the scene. In a compact little space reminiscent in its layout of Z Carniceria, just a block up the street (and part-owned by one of Caos’s owners), Caos crams in more of everything than most bars. More fun-loving customers, bumping elbows at the bar. More eclectic DJ sets – we counted three distinctly different sets in an hour there on a recent visit, from trashy surf-rock to Egyptian beats to vintage Aretha. And more – well, tat. And we mean that in a caring way.
The brimming walls and shelves are packed with momentoes from the ’80s and ’90s, from film posters and framed wedding portraits to toys, telephones, car lights and door knobs, all chosen with a fine eye for picking out treasure from jumble – and all for sale during the day, too. Even the ceilings aren’t spared, with a bicycle and Lord knows what else suspended over the tight, convivial crowd.
Check out the dancefloor – it’s mostly too packed for much more than a light groove – and the unisex toilets, with some of the best poster art. Then shoulder your way to the bar and order a beer or a Geisha – a grape-and-lychee, sake-and-green-tea delight – and crack on with making all your new best friends. It’s that kind of bar.