Having a quick nail polish will never be the same after entering the wild world of Blow Bar, writes Ondy Sweeting. Photos: Lucky 8.
Blow Bar is a hair and beauty destination – of a rare kind – with a central bar in the classic French style: as an island placed in the middle of the space for all to see. Glasses hang overhead with top shelf libations above. Oversized ice buckets house bottles of premium champagne such as Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, while tucked into the icy under counter fridges are bottles of Bintang – Bali’s famous lager.
Blow Bar has been part of the legendary Eat Street for little over a year and is already a popular hangout for expats and visitors. There are no tribes here. Canggu hipsters will pop in to arrange some dread management and stay for hours while lovely Aussie blokes will shoot the breeze and beers while their beloved enjoys a treatment.
Blow Bar, given its sizzling location in central Seminyak, is a pumping starting point for a night out – with the impressive menu of beauty treatment virtually ignored or used merely for entertainment. I have seen possibly the world’s longest hair while sitting at the bar and the whir of activity imbues the place with a dynamic vibe. It’s a magnet for parties and friends looking for a blast off with style. The cranking air conditioning is a chilled escape from the heat.
And what a place to perch with lush studded leather barstools created for comfort and a view. As much thought and has gone into providing pleasure for bar dwellers as has gone into the zones dedicated to locks and fingers. Bag hooks are discreetly placed against the black bar alongside multiple powers points – you’ll never have to worry about running the phone battery down and sparing the happy snaps and vacay selfies. Black and white tiles in a herringbone pattern enhance the unequivocally upscale interior.
Blow Bar’s curated music swings from funky 70s R&B such as Earth Wind & Fire and feel good disco tunes through to Amy Winehouse and avant guard sampling.
The cocktail list has 14 classic creations including the ever-popular Negroni and Espresso Martini to the more curious Pink Bikini – a mix of raspberry, lime and vanilla topped with cheese foam. Martinis are offered as dry or Rosso style and are served with an olive or a twist. The Bloody Mary is the real deal with Worchestershire sauce, Tobasco, a secret spiced tomato mix plus salt n pepper. The Dragon Sling harnesses the goodness of Bali’s delicious red dragon fruit and blends it with gin, cherry brandy, DOM, pineapple juice, Angostura bitter and lime.
Spanish-style sangria is made for the tropical climate and presented in a well-known red wine base with fruit as well as white sangria, which is packed with passion fruit, mint and citrus.
Blow’s Bellini – Aperrol spritz with sparkling wine, orange juice and olive – is a refreshing treat while Puttin’ On The Spritz is passion shrub, sugarcane and bubbles and tastes of sweet dreams.
Quaffable and premium wines by the bottle comes in a choice that covers most bases with a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir and a Malbec.
Not everything is heavy on the hooch with a good selection of mocktails. Kids will love the eternally popular Shirley Temple of lemonade, lime and grenadine, or a Sour Vanilla, which is a brew of house-made vanilla, lime and soda. Adults will love the Virgin Mary, which is packed with the same delicious spices as its alcoholic sister and the Virgin Mojito is a sweet winner too. Check out the Layered Colibri – a blend of pineapple, orange and lime juice with a splash of grenadine and coke.
Blow Bar is Insta-ready with searing polished concrete walls relieved by a huge wooden panel with back-lit Blow Bar signage.
High ceilings showcase a recessed accent of pressed tin panels with a Victorian flavour. It mirrors the shape of the bar and connects what could potentially feel cavernous – Blow Bar is a warehouse style space turned into an intimate and convivial destination.
Ceiling-to-floor street art has been brought inside from the landmark ‘I Want Your Hair’ painting on Blow Bar’s external wall that pays homage to artists like Banksy and My Dog Sighs, but executed à la Indonesia.
The afro graffiti art makes its way into the nail parlour where it packs a punch of boho chic to the boudoir-style circular banquet that is a customized space for a bag, phone and that all important cocktail.