The buzz: RCA has become a bit of a hotspot for bike lovers. Not only is it home to the giant Triumph bike showroom and 808 Café offering bike accessories, but it’s now welcomed the Vespa empire, with the Go Ves scooter showroom and Vespa Bar right next door. The showroom displays the latest Vespa models and accessories, while the bar next door provides a space for bikers to sit and chat over draught beer and Italian dishes.
The décor: A garage with lots of bike parts turned into décorative pieces. The bar’s relaxing, yet stylish atmosphere is further reflected in the huge wall graffiti done by Hong Kong artist Edison Zhang and a mix of the owner’s personal retro pieces like barber chairs and gas tanks. Inside you can sit at the wooden tables and couches, while there are also some seats outside, where the faux grass adds to the beer garden charm.
The music: Jazz and pop fill the air. Live bands perform Wed, Fri-Sat from 8-10pm.
The price: Beers are the big draw here even if there’s no mention of them on the menu; instead, you’re encouraged to check what bottles they’ve got in stock in the fridge. The selection of imported bottles welcomes new labels every month; at the moment you can expect drops from St. Bernardus, Rogue and Estrella Damm while Hoegaarden, Stella Artois and Leffe are available on tap. There is a list of signature cocktails, all with racing-related names; try Vesbar, a combination of red and green jelly made from raspberry and apple flavored vodka served in a margarita glass with a shot of white lemon vodka (B220)—it looks just like the flag of Italy. Supersport is like a Long Island, only in smoothie form: the five spirits are blended with homemade lemon sorbet (B220). The Italian-focused kitchen offers up drink-friendly dishes like mixed cold cuts (B650) and cheese platter (four cheeses served with olives and dried fruit, B550), pasta mains like carbonara (B200) and aglio olio (B150) and grilled Italian sausage (B240).
The crowd: The bar welcomes a small community of Vespa lovers plus a few walk-ups.
Why you’ll come back: Vespa fans should need no encouragement. But if you’re just in need of a bite and a spot of pre-gaming before hitting the neighboring clubs, Vesbar is also a pretty solid choice.