Right out of a scene from Havana comes Socialista, a 1940s Cuban-themed watering hole. Socialista, the popular and recently opened lounge in the West Village, has got some impressive backing. Socialista is the brainchild of former Bungalow 8 doorman Armin Amiri, and if that’s not enough to pique your interest consider that he’s got financial backing from Giuseppe Cipriani and Sting, among others.
Socialista is modeled after a Cuban pharmacy bar and other dusky habitats from the pages of Havana by photographer Robert Polidori. You’ll find colonial-architecture-in-decay touches like peeling green-sherbet walls, slowly circulating ceiling fans, rickety wooden shutters and distressed leather Ralph Lauren couches.
Staying with the old-school socialist motif, champagne and wine bottles are lowered from a hole in the third floor storage area by a rope and basket, and Amiri says his space will serve only those celebs “who don’t want their asses kissed.” So don’t cut in line when ordering one of Cyrus Kehyari’s (Double Seven) freshly squeezed cocktails—we recommend the white-rummed Hemingway—or even a steak sandwich from the downstairs cafe that’s opening in a couple of weeks.
The ground floor of Socialista will be what Mr. Amiri calls a “peasant-style” café, featuring simple Cuban cuisine “infused with an Argentine influence.” Among other things, there will be steaks and Cuban sandwiches, rice and beans, and corn on the cob. Mr. Cipriani—the 41-year-old scion of his family’s eponymous restaurant empire—is taking care of the food. The bottom floor will be open to the public, abiding a “first come, first served” policy—no reservations. So, you want to get in to Socialista? According to the Post you’ll need to make it past “a dwarf named Anthony.”