Paulo’s Antique Bar in Chapora village is a publicity shy rock pub that believes in keeping it old school with cheap beer, Rock 'N' Roll and some good ol’ fellas up for laid-back conversation.
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Cheap Beer & Good Company: This Tiny Rock Pub Is Goa's Hidden Gem
What Makes It Awesome
You might cross this unassuming bar thinking nothing of it but come night and it really comes into its own. Full of twinkling fairy lights and posters of rock legends, it’s got a friendly vibe that can usually be attributed to the same bunch of rockers who hang out here every day. On some days, you’ll even see people spilling out of its tiny balcony onto the road.
There’s no menu (if they feel like it, they cook up a Christmas feast or find a reason to share cake with everyone post 10pm) and you can forget about staff hovering around waiting to pour your next drink. So, either wait to meet Prakash’s eye (he’s the only dedicated kitchen-meets-bar man) or the usual gang will usually be happy to pop open a beer.
The playlist will usually have a mishmash of Ronnie James Dio, AC/DC, Neil Young, CCR, Alice Cooper, Scorpions and the likes. The crowd is mainly expats, the bar owners, young musicians and lost Indian tourists looking for a Pecos in Goa. If you hop over, say ‘hulo’ to the lady bar manager who has the sweetest smile and an undying love for rock and Bob, the Lemmy look-alike who makes a regular appearance. Also, Charlie, who we’re going to talk about a little later.
We went here every single night we were in Anjuna and had a ball listening to Charlie’s stories. This English hippie told us about bumping into musicians and encounters with all kinds of blokes as he drove his Magic Bus to Goa back in the day. And of course, he’s been coming to Paulo’s for over four decades now because it’s the only place in the state that’s insulated from all the silent noise parties and psytrance gigs that have come to define popular culture.
If he’s feeling chatty, he’ll also tell you about his health centre or about how he creates fireworks or paints murals or intends on doing up the Paulo’s restaurant down the road. If you're anything like us, you'll grab another beer and stick around. And maybe, stick around for a long long time to come.
On our first day, we were asked to not click photos and we’d suggest you don’t make too much noise around Paulo’s on social media because they want people to discover this bar on their own and not by the way of advertisement. Let's all respect that and keep Paulo's the way it's meant to be: discreet, cosy and unchanged.