A bar with the name of an artist has been attracting a new audience to a until recently unoccupied corner of the city. Vila Buarque, in the center of São Paulo. It’s the story of Van Grogh, who migrated from the sides of University Presbyterian Mackenzie to a square in the same neighborhood and saw its attendance renew.
The pun on the name of painter Vincent Van Gogh it’s not just a joke. Wedson Stavarengo, the bar owner, is so fond of Van Gogh that he named his cat after the artist.
In addition, Stavarengo is also a painter and trained in fine arts. Some paintings made by him even decorate the internal environment of the establishment and give color to the walls, with drawings of figures such as Frida Kahlo e Marielle Franco🇧🇷 His partner, Roberta Lobo –now also a partner–, even asked if he was setting up a bar just to put his paintings. “Both things,” he replied.
Along with his paintings, there are drawings made by tattoo artist Matheus Alves on the white bricks of the wall with faces of artists such as Cartola, Creole e Elsa Soares.
The façade also has an artistic touch inherited from the bar’s old address, on Rua Dr. Cesário Mota Júnior, also in Vila Buarque. The tiles with drawings and poems made by customers that decorated the first address were transformed into licks for the new house, a year ago in Alfredo Paulino square.
The first Van Grogh opened in 2017 with an eye on the university crowd due to its proximity to the Presbyterian University Mackenzie🇧🇷 There, the bar became famous for having the best bathroom in the region, unique and disputed. “We always wanted the bar to have a good relationship with the customers”, says Stavarengo.
The clientele gained a new profile at the current address, when Wedson’s twin brother, Wilson, joined the partnership. With the innovations, the age group of the public rose to 30 years old and the bar is seen more and more as an environment for “death”, with two unisex bathrooms. “Diversity for us is a natural thing,” she says.
The bar also says that it values diversity in the menu as well. As there can always be a person who doesn’t enjoy drinking litrão, the menu also lists craft beer labels, wines and drinks with alcohol and no alcohol.
even close to Crackland, the business creates a relaxed atmosphere in the square. There is a lot of competition to get one of the colorful beach chairs, especially on sunny days. Van Grogh is not the pioneer in the choice of seat, but the choice was made not to interfere too much with the environment.
The bar is next to Wormone of the places known as paulistanos beach due to the climate it gets on weekends, days when it is closed to cars, and it is full of people who go there to walk, ride a bike and get some sun. Even Van Grogh square looks like a little beach — concrete, it’s true. “There are days when it rains a lot and all that’s left is to bring sand, because there’s already water,” says Wilson.
The square was even painted by the Stavarengo twins, who also claim to go to the city hall to collect the space maintenance, already integrated into the bar. And the movement of the public brought some security to the surroundings. With all this, Van Grogh also conquered a friendly relationship with the neighborhood.
It is because of this good relationship with the neighbors that the bar owners are still studying how to perform live music, a demand from the clientele. “It’s important to have this space of empathy, to put yourself in the place of the neighbor who also needs his space”, says Wilson.
Even without a concert schedule yet, the bar has a remarkable soundtrack, only Brazilian music, from classics to new talents. What seems certain for the future of the bar is the expansion of opening hours with the expansion of the kitchen.
A month ago, the place started serving lunches on weekends. On these days, the house prepares dishes like feijoada, for R$60, or noodles with shiitake, for R$45. $28, or the potion of pepperoni flambéed in cachaça, worth R$34.