Sapatinha's Cafe

On the evening of the Barflies' sojourn into Sapatinha's, located in downtown New Bedford at the corner of Acushnet Avenue and School Street, there were only three or four patrons at the bar...and no bartender on duty, seemingly, as we sat on the stools. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Maria appeared. She was a friendly, middle-aged, self-depreciating woman with a plastic bag on her head. Really. She explained that she'd taken advantage of a quiet moment to dye her hair in the ladies' room, and she proceeded to serve the Barflies, with a Rite-Aid bag over her hair.
The draft selection was limited to Bud and more Bud, so Mr. Draft shifted to his fall-back choice, a can of Guinness. Mr. Merlot sipped a heavily fortified Portuguese wine, strong enough to strip paint off a hardwood floor. When asked by Mr. Mix for a "mixed drink, something creamy, sweet, no fruit juice," Maria suggested a Tequila Rose, which Mr. Mix ordered. It turned out to be a premixed cocktail, the color of Pepto-Bismol and the flavor of Frankenberry cereal, a strong artificial strawberry kick. Mr. Mix described it as "being offensive to the palate."

Sapatinha's is a rather nice place, dark and quietly elegant, with plush seats and the illusion that it is twice as large as it actually is, due to the placement of a large mirror on the back wall, an illusion only broken by the realization that the exit sign is in reverse and there is a guy at the other end of the bar who looks just like you. Two televisions played, one broadcasting Jeopardy! and the other airing American Gladiator, appealing to both the Apollonian and the Dionysian sides of the cafe's patrons. A hand drawn portrait of Mother Theresa hung behind the bar, as did a Red Sox banner, touching on all things holy.

A sign hung over the bar that read: "Credit is for banks not bars. If you ask me, I will throw you out." Sapatinha's will likely not be a beneficiary of any $700 billion dollar bailout.

The cafe was quiet that evening, but Mr. Draft suspects that Friday and Saturday nights are more vibrant. Sapatinha's gets a straightforward 6.

Roll Call: Mr. Draft, Mr, Mix, Mr. Merlot, Mr. 3BOES, Mr. Moonshine

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