Published May 20, 2011
Wow. Every bar in 101 Reykjavík, huh? That’s a lot of bars. Rating and reviewing all of them is a huge task. Well, maybe not compared to, say, ‘rating and reviewing every bar in Manhattan’, but Manhattan is a very densely populated metropolitan area. It is the modern day Rome or Athens (or Babylon or maybe R’lyeh?). Almost everyone lives there! Downtown Reykjavík is tiny, yet it still has millions upon millions of establishments that are dedicated to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Over fifty, in any case.
And as you know, we are all borderline alcoholics, and we keep having to reach further and further to justify our all-weekend benders. This issue’s mission was not only intended to provide the good people of Reykjavík and their guests with an overview of their choices when it comes to alcohol-related lounging and how much each place charges for drinks (also to compile the excellent ‘happy hour’ list), it was also an excellent excuse to once again get really, really wasted while claiming to be working.
Will we find another excuse for next weekend’s bender? In the immortal words of US presidential candidate Sarah Palin: “You betcha”.
You can flip to page twenty right now to view the results of our survey. There aren’t many surprises; some places are all instantly awesome, others are kind of lame (or scary!), but most of them are just, you know, bars where you can get buzzed. Our run-through should optimally give you an indication of which place might be suitable for your tastes and budget, and you can also figure out where you can go to hear your favourite style of music (if your favourite style of music is ‘frat boy drunkenly playing top 40 hits on an acoustic guitar at some random party’, you are in luck).
A lot of people helped us make this happen, not the least all the writers who graciously donated their time and livers to completing this unselfish mission. We are very grateful.
You might be asking yourself whether our ratings are all biased and stuff, and you are right to wonder (although if you’re so into questioning authority, we can think of some real authorities out there that are in dire need of being questioned and disputed). Of course the individuals that visited these bars and wrote them up have their personal favourites, they are after all active participants in Reykjavík’s nightlife. But we tried to be sorta scientific about things and not let our own preferences influence our verdict (I was actually surprised at how low some of my own favourites scored, but then that’s life).
Also, it’s fun to note that the team (I like to call them ‘ICELAND DRINKING TEAM 2011’) had representatives of both genders and most age ranges (we had men, women, native Reykjavikings, New Icelanders, twentysomethings, thirtysomethings and fortysomethings, for instance).
If you find yourself disagreeing with a given assesment, write us a letter explaning your case and we will print it. We love encouraging and engaging in discourse!
Now. Go pick a bar and go get a drink. And while you’re there, ponder the fate of Medhi Kavyanpoor (page six), who has been fighting for his right to an existence for over seven years now, and is quickly being worn down. Ponder the fate and situation of asylum seekers in Iceland, and how our treatment of them—while maybe slowly improving—is still shameful and embarrassing. Ponder personally doing something about it, for instance by writing a letter to the Ministry of the Interior (www.innanrikisraduneyti.is) and letting your outrage be known.
These are real live human beings we’re talking about, and our treatment of them—when doing a decent job would be so easy—is fairly to very upsetting and depressing in equal measures.