Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Two great places off the beaten path: having a drink there can be cultural experience.

If it happens that you are craving for cultural experiences and would love to have a drink surrounded by those who eat and breathe culture, wear hats, beards and glasses, and read books there are some really great hipster-places in Riga. Yeah, I said hipster-places. I've also heard that Riga is hipster capital. At least this article tells it: Hipster Capital Riga

Well, whatever, I’m not here to find the definition of hipsterism. I’m here to share with you info about two pretty enjoyable places that are well known here as typical hipster-places. It means, you will have to get out of the Old Town. No worries, both of them are at the city center and really just some 10-15 min walk away from the Old Town.

Old furniture, heat from fireplaces, friendly locals, concerts, out-of-the-box performances and booze, oh, and usually no snobs there as well!!!  

KKC – Kaņepes Kultūras Centrs

This self-proclaimed culture center in old mansion has real charm. It’s just a 10 min walk away from the Old Town. No chic. And that’s the best thing about this place – the content and charm comes from people, performances and attitude. They have even movie evenings and the territory outside in front of the building is absolutely welcoming in summers, gathering people like a magnet.

Not just the bar and stage, but the building itself has stories around, in and out. It stands there from the beginning of XX century, it has hosted aristocracy and lived through bohemian times when students lived there and it has been school of music for children as well.

Address:  Skolas iela 15. It’s right on the corner between Skolas and  Lāčplēša streets. Look for a giant sculpture of a black lion outside on the wall, and fence that draws a boundary between the street and another world.

Who goes there? Well, definitely not bling-bling people looking for posh and luxury or willing to get something from you. You will meet there artists, students, writers, photographers, hipsters, philosophers and lovers of cultural values – those who are looking for something different and able to find more into less.

Check out their Facebook fan page to dig into pictures: KKC (Kaņepes Kultūras Centrs) Facebook Page


As you might have guessed – this place has been named after American philosopher Noam Chomsky. They are kind of rebels that dare to say out loud – we are not here to comply with authorities and political correctness.  This place is pretty small and you probably won’t even notice it if you were just walking by not looking for it. It’s in that part of city center where tourists don’t get so often. When nobody is looking for ordering drinks, a guy behind the bar pretty often is reading books. That’s already something that tells about this place. It is a really simple shed-like place - one more little piece of heaven that proves that simplicity has a lot in it. Old furniture that seems to have lived its life already, perfectly fits into this place where being who you are is valued a lot higher than pretending.  Oh, and this small place from times to times have concerts as well that might surprise you with really undomesticated music.

Address: Lāčplēša iela 68. Look for a portrait of Noam Chomsky next to the entrance.

Who goes there? Friends and lone wolves who want to have a beer in a shed-like place, those who want to spend time talking to people, those who can go out without make-up or their best clothes on, and that-kind of people who go to KKC as well.

I haven’t lied a word, that’s how it looks and feels there: Chomsky Facebook Page 

These both places are truly welcoming, so if you have a feeling that’s something for you, I’m sure you won’t regret going there! If these places seem for you suspicious and too strange, you probably don't have to waste your time going there. If fact, these are not just "some kind of places" to have a drink - these are experiences in space-time.

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