Friday, March 07, 2008

Featuring.......Bamboo Too

Since my last post dealt with this bar/disco, I think now is a good time to talk a little bit more about it. This building started out life years ago as a sleazy, run down restaurant called La Pena. (I know there should be a tilda over the n but I can't do it on a laptop) I remember eating some very spicy but delicious enchiladas in green sauce there. All the time trying to make out if the gigantic boa constrictor oozing down one of the support posts was real or stuffed. Turned out it was stuffed.

The building underwent a major renovation several years ago and re-emerged as this bar/disco with the same name. It was only open during high season and did a thriving business. Then along came Hurricane Wilma and she did some major damage to it. Especially since it sits right on the malecon in front of the sea. Well, it still does, but the back porch area has now been severely shortened.

If you walk down Avenue Guerrero, south to north, you will see this bright, plaster bas relief enhanced building on your right. Behind that sun, inside are two of the coolest apartments you could ever want to see. They are like caves with no round walls. The entrance to them is off the dance floor inside. As cool as they are, I would not care to live in one of them. The noise doesn't stop until after 4 AM every night!

As you walk a little further along, you will see the entrance and the sign proclaiming the new name, Bamboo Too. The same guy who runs the restaurant on Avenue Hidalgo, Bamboo, runs this place. I would never have changed the name. Especially insinuating that it is a restaurant by naming it after an already existing one. It definitely is not, so don't go in there expecting to get a meal of any kind.

See those two big round circles above? They are actually windows that are hinged in the middle and fold down to form inside/outside tables. A great concept if you ask me.

What really makes this place astounding and worth a look see is the furniture. The major pieces are actually tree stumps imported from Thailand. They have been carved with expert hands to incorporate all the nooks and crannies. Arm rests and bottle rests galore.

This one, waiting to greet you as you walk up the entrance stairs, even has a built in foot rest. Many a person has posed for a picture in this chair. It sits out there 24/7 so you can sit in it even when the bar is closed if you want.

Before you negotiate the long corrider to the back bar and dance area, you will pass through the front bar, complete with two large pool tables. And a new fangled juke box that actually plays the music video to match the selection playing. High tech stuff for the island.

Entering into the back bar, you will encounter more of these tree stump chairs scattered around. But equally impressive is the bar stools. Yup, same tree stumps. Folks, these things are massively heavy. Heavy like it takes two people to move them even a couple of inches. Better like where it is placed at the bar or have a friend with you to help re-arrange it. Or, heck, make a new friend and get him/her to help you!

Passing on through this area and heading for the back porch, you will see all kinds of lounge areas for sitting and chatting or just people watching. There is also this huge light with holes punched into it. My flash disguises how dramatic it is in the dark. The holes actually form the shapes of people of animals, sort of like cave paintings. It is made to look like old leather but I doubt if it really is.

This grouping of chairs is right before you start the step down process to take you outside where you can watch the water. Amazing sight with a full moon, romantic or awesome other times, depending upon the weather and the size of the waves coming in. You are literally about ten feet away from the water out there and just a little above it. I didn't take any pictures out there because the breeze carries salt spray and I didn't want it all over my camera lens!

If you are on the island, even if you are not a late night party-goer, check it out. It opens around 8 PM but the crowds don't arrive until around 1 AM or later. You should have plenty of room to look around if you get there before then. I highly recommend it.


Steve Cotton said...

Great furniture! Sounds like a place I will want to visit.

Hollito said...

Those carved furniture looks like it is left over from the last "Alien" film set. :-)

jackpaperdig said...

Hey i love your blog. A true veteran of Isla. I have bin to Isla and am going there again in may and i started a lens of my own on squidoo. Seems you know what your talking about it would be awesome if you could come and review my lens. You know just to see how its going and some suggestions maybe for articles and such . You should make one to. Its the next best thing to blogging and addicting lol. And a gain so exited to be going to Isla and check my lens out if you got the time. Heres the link.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog and commentary. Soon, May 19th, I will be making my first exploration of Isla. Although I have been a Mexico traveler since the Late 70's, I have not been to Isla. I retired early as well and am living in the great state of Montana. It is my hope I enjoy Isla enough to buy a vacation / retirement home.


Johnny B.

toloKe said...

awebooo la peña (bamboo too) xD genial!