The Spot – La Bipolar

The Spot – hangouts you should visit at least once in your life.

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La Bipolar –often known as simply La Bipo- is the epitome of contemporary Mexico City Boho chic –or the locally brewed version of the concept- that proves that cool is an international currency but only really becomes credible when trendy foreign ideas are successfully fused with the local vibe.

This vibrant bar and cantina has all the right ingredients. It’s located in vibrant Coyoacán, one of the most beautiful suburbs to the south of the centre, rich in historic, brightly coloured architecture that is considered one of the nicest places to live in the city. And don’t just take our word for it: in 2005 the Project for Public Spaces, the prestigious NYC urban planning think tank, listed it as one of the best urban spaces to live in North America, the only Mexican neighbourhood named. No wonder then that it was announced as one of the Barrios Mágicos by the city in 2011, a kind of honorary title meant to indicate its benefit to the city’s cultural offer for tourists.

Then, of course, there’s the owner, Mexican heartthrob Diego Luna who gained international notice for his role in “Y Tu Mamá También”, Alfonso Cuarón’s cult film that proved a hit on the international art house circuit. The third special ingredient is top designer Héctor Esrawe whose product, furniture and industrial designs are much sought after by high-end clients and design freaks around the world. What Héctor has pulled off for La Bipolar is most certainly something special.

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La Bipolar sees Héctor Esrawe using a stark almost industrial minimalism in beautiful juxtaposition with the kitschy objects and cheap industrial materials that sum up populist Mexican identity at a glance. It’s no mean feat to prove the maxim that ‘less is more’ when you choose to prove it using garish objects that can be found in any Mexican street market. But, La Bipolar pulls it off perfectly.

The two storeys each have their own mood, mirroring their different functions, connected by Esrawe’s baseline colour of simple white. Downstairs is a brightly lit, airy space with long canteen-style communal tables that offers a tasty menu of simple Mexican classics – tostaditas or burritos – but with a contemporary twist to their fillings; Marlin or tofu, for example. In the evenings it buzzes with the hip young set while during the day a fashionably mellow air reigns; a lot of coffee-with-iPad action, for example. The upstairs bar is a more dramatic affair as befits its function. Doubling as a performance venue for bands, it features a nifty decorative wall and a suitably low-key take on an upmarket cocktail bar colliding with a local neighbourhood boozer. Needless to say, it’s all a hit with local celebrities playing at incognito.

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The charm and fun of La Bipolar makes it a great choice if you fancy an night out among a trendy young crowd or equally excellent as a hangout stop during a day’s very worthwhile sightseeing in a neighbourhood that includes, amongst its various treats, numerous historic churches and both the Frida Kahlo Museum and Leon Trotsky Museum.

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