Fontainhas, the Latin Quarter of Panjim has a charm of its own kind and it is equally popular between locals and tourists alike. With vibrant & colourful houses that are reminiscent of the Portuguese era, hand-painted street walls that depict tales of Goa, and monuments that highlight the rich culture of our state, Fontainhas in itself is a work of art.
There is one more thing that sets Fontainhas apart, it is the tiniest possible bars and restaurants that you would come across. And yet it is the growing popularity of these old restaurants and taverns that some of them have earned a reputation of becoming a tourist spot that people from near and far come to visit.
When talking of Taverns, Joseph Bar is indeed one of the most iconic taverns of Goa and in fact, Joseph Bar alone has been responsible for putting itself as well as other taverns on a global map.
It is an intimate, rustic, and very raw kind of bar with minimal seating space that you might end up sharing the space with a complete stranger who I am sure could become your best buddy a few drinks down the road. More often than not, you would find people standing around corners with a drink in their hands, spilling over to putting up some stools on the road, or just patiently waiting for their turns in their cars.
The interiors of Joseph Bar might remind you of some old-time cowboy movies on one side, while one of the rooms displays some antique clock collection since it was a clock shop before the bar was set up.
One of the key USPs of Joseph Bar is its friendly and warm set of people who always greet you with the widest possible style and make you feel at home the moment you enter. Joseph Bar is popularly known as the house of Tambde Rosa, a drink made with Kokum, Rose and Feni, which is definitely a must-try. Other than this, the bar is famous for its crafted beers and Gundu, the barman. Gundu is a delightful person and a very efficient one too.
If you are a regular, he will remember your favourite drink and get it for you ASAP, if you are visiting after long even then he tends to remember you by face and very cordially put you at ease.
Old classics and jazz music fill up the air on most evenings and it is a place where you would find locals retiring for a relaxed drink after a hard day at work and discussing anything and everything under the sun. It is also a place where you would find tourists from other cities across the world flocking to experience this old-world charm that is unmatched.
The place is not very big on the food menu, and most of the things served there are supplied by local home chefs in the area. But these items surely make for an apt snack to go along with your drinks.
The menu is extremely pocket friendly and will not burn any holes in your pocket, so gather your gang of friends and experience Goan Susegad culture in the most authentic way at Joseph Bar. It hasn’t won so many awards and accolades for nothing, it surely is worth your while.
The place is not ideal for a family outing but a great getaway for a gang of friends whether boys or girls. The Joseph Bar to put it simply is an icon. Highly recommended for a visit.
Images by Armaan Malhotra