Monday, 21 August 2017

Panta Rei at Adams Bar

Alternative Cultural Guide to Sofia*   
If you think sports such as foosball (table football) and darts aren’t serious or addiction-worthy, Adams Bar will make you reconsider. The watering hole is in the centre of Sofia, on 28 Vrabcha Street – the first cross street to the rights after the Levski monument if you’re coming from Sofia University. The only conditions that the clientele of addicts and addicts-to-be have to fulfil is to enjoy listening to hard and heavy metal and to be able to carry their liquor.

The bar is very well stocked, so everyone is sure to be satisfied. Тhe bartenders Niki, Crazy and Katya are very welcoming and although there is no food on the menu, since this is a sports-entertainment venue and not a snack bar, the list of beverages is long enough. It is quite entertaining too: in its usage of intentionally misspelled entries, not really translatable in English, where the warm drinks become warm feel-ups, the draft beer becomes drunk beer, and the wine-consumption becomes guilt-consumption. All in all, everyone who goes to Adams will have the chance to fully get the meaning of the famous aphorism often attributed to Heraclitus, panta rhei, meaning “everything flows.”

The interior is pleasantly shabby and the walls are painted in orange, green and yellow – a cool backdrop for the metal bands’ posters and announcements for table football tournaments that hang everywhere. The discussions about the purpose of the ceiling mirrors have so far been inconclusive, but the gas mask and the traditional Bulgarian wooden wine vessel that hang on the ventilation pipe are practical without a doubt. The muted lighting also makes for a pleasant atmosphere and is just enough for the hypnotized players to be able to follow the ball along the field.

Adams is the gathering spot of some of Sofia’s best foosball players – the members of the Storm Riders club. There are a few professional tables – one Tornado and one Roberto, as well as two Garlando tables. Tournaments are often organized.

The bar has no face control, but the incidental visitor will notice that black is the visitors’ predominant colour of choice when it comes to clothing, and if you happen to be wearing a cartridge-belt instead of a regular one, you will really feel at home. The bar, nevertheless, boasts a diverse clientele – from men in suits to long-haired metalheads wearing leather clothes and army boots. Fun is guaranteed, but beware that the two most contended topics are the music playing and who is better at the foosball field.

* This story is part of the Alternative Cultural Guide to Sofia. The guide was created by students from Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski. Initiated by associate professor Alexander Kiossev, it was supported by the Sofia University’s Academic Research Fund. The texts, published in Bulgarian by the student magazine Piron, were edited by Lyuboslava Ruseva, and translated into English by




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