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3 reviews
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61 Charminster Road,

01202 789777

The ViewBournemouth Review

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Review byKate Moors04/11/2009
Full of Latino atmosphere, this is the perfect bar to go for a quiet drink during the week or to escape the rowdy atmosphere of central Bournemouth at the weekend.

The Venue
One mile outside the town centre, in the bustling Charminster Road, Havana is one of many culturally themed venues in this colourful street.

Decor is contemporary and Cuban, with an atmosphere that strikes somewhere between a trendy city bar and a party spot in a Mediterranean tourist town. It isn’t particularly spacious but has more than enough room on weeknights, which are generally quiet. Entry is free, even at weekends and on special music nights.

The seating is tall barstools dotted along a central bar and at a few tables against the walls and main window. There are a few comfortable seats in the club area downstairs (which is only open in busier periods), but with the dancefloor only a few feet away this isn’t an area suitable for a quiet chat.

The People
Because of its location out of the town centre, Havana is less of an attraction for tourists and is instead filled with an unlikely mix of foreign students and mature, vivacious locals.

Weeknights have a relaxed and exclusive feel to them, being fairly empty in the winter and usually scattered with a few pairs of people sipping cool drinks in the summer. Weekends, however, are much livelier, with just enough people to make the place look full but rarely so many that you feel claustrophobic.

The vibe is friendly, trendy and Latino, all three qualities which are reflected in the staff. The manager is usually wandering around, greeting people at the door or helping to serve drinks behind the bar in busier times.

The Music
Weeknights have a mixture of chart music, R'n'B and soul tunes. Friday nights are old school soul and funk, and Saturdays are classic funk and disco.

The Drink
Drinks here aren’t cheap but there are deals during the week on specific nights, such as half-price cocktails. Draught and bottled beers are available – everything from Stella to more unusual South American beers.

Bottles of wine cost between £10.95 and £22.50, and bottles of champagne range from £18.50 for a Rose Brut all the way up to £145 for a bottle of Dom Perignon.

Shooters are £2.50 to £3.50 and cocktails are £6 or £7. Cocktails are all freshly made at the bar while you watch, without the extensive wait you’d have to endure in the busier wine bars in central Bournemouth.

The Last Word
If you want a cosmopolitan bar away from the rush of Bournemouth town centre, Havana is a good place to come. However, be prepared to pay a little extra than you would expect for an out-of-town bar and keep a look out for the drink promotions.
Havana has been reviewed by 3 users

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