Bologna Bar Mercato
About Bar Mercato
This little unassuming bar called Bar Mercato sits directly behind the well known Mercato delle Erbe. Not to be out-shone though, this Bolognese café bar is quite unusual and noted for a peculiar feature.
Once inside visitors are greeted with a bountiful display of coloured portraits hanging just below the ceiling. The people displayed though are not merely volunteers who sat for the artist but actual clients past and present.
The idea for this brilliant concept to forever immortalize customers was hatched by the artist himself and Claudio Righi. It’s been going now for many years although who will eventually carry on the tradition is yet unknown. No contenders for artist-in-residence has step forward yet!
The artist in question has of course pride of place here right above the bar. His name is Paolo Roversi.
The origins of this bar falls back to 1913 when it was established. It was only in 1990 though that Righi and his business partner Emanuella Zanni took the reins and began to turn it into a local for locals.
Over the years Bar Mercato gained another significant reputation for the quality of its Italian and French wine and champagne collections. It’s obvious that they’re not trying to rise above their station since there are clearly better suited alternatives for wine bars here but with names like Selosse, Salon, Billecart, Boolinger and Krug, the stock on offer here is hardly one to snarl at.
In the back there are a few more scattered tables and chairs for the lunch time crowd but again, don’t be surprised to know that the decorative art work on the walls is an exhibition. Local Bolognese artists including sculptors and photographers share this space with fellow diners.
The Aperitivo in the evenings here is probably as good a time as any to appreciate these exhibitions.
Another door way leads into a small back yard where customers can snuggle together in the tight confines for a puff and gaze skywards towards the Naples-like image of the neighbours washing hanging above their heads – a last reminder that all is not as it seems here.