Rio, is what the locals call affectionately, “a democratic city”, i.e. everyone hangs out with everyone, poor and rich, young and old, fashionable and casual, all share the same bars and the same beaches. To find a place that caters to a specific crowd is somewhat a sophisticated task.
As I am a very mature and sophisticated lady, I was looking to find a place where the older, similar crowd hangs out and the only name that came up was the Ovelha Negra (the Black Sheep) champaign bar in Botafogo. I have been there before on a an rainy chilly and hence empty night and quite enjoyed its coziness. The space is perhaps 100 sq meters, located in an old one story building with big wooden windows looking onto a small quiet street and walls covered in whiteboards with the daily specials.
Supposedly, Ovelha is the “IT” place for Thursday after-work happy hour of the white collar professionals. So I decided to check out the promising Thursday scene. When my friend and I arrived there around 7 pm, it was already packed to the brim with at least 100 of the above, sweating profusely and talking loudly. We were lucky (or unlucky) enough to run into one of the piriguettes (bimbos) from our office at the entrance and therefore skip the long line outside and upon entering, we discovered that at about 70:30, the women to men ratio, was not really in our favor. After elbowing all the ones present, we finally found an empty floor space between two tables and placed ourselves on display for the room attendants to survey. Starting to sweat myself and getting rather claustrophobic, I was eventually able to cool off a bit with a glass of sweet champaign. We were soon enough approached by a group of very typical carioca guys (happy, loud, beefed up) who invited us to join their table, showing us their wedding rings and already offering to take those off for us. I then remembered an important piece of information about this place that I somehow managed selectively to forget – that it was a place where married white collar professionals would go to find some new fun!
I tried to participate in the animated conversation but lost interest quite quickly and was becoming even more claustrophobic as the place kept getting filled up with more and more people and the conversations kept getting louder and dumber. So, as appropriate for a good wing woman and friend, I ditched my companion there with 5 guys and took off to lick my wounds over a caipirinha elsewhere. And this is how I discovered grape caipirinhas! All’s well that ends well!