A shady sort of bar

  • 2004-09-09
  • By Elizabeth Celms
RIGA - A night at Spy Bar can be done very well, if you do it right. First of all, you should go alone; it's just that type of a place. And go in the wee small hours for their 4:30 a.m. breakfast. Because it's really the only reason you'd choose this mundane bar, and omelets always taste best at 4:30 a.m., anyways.

On your way to Spy Bar, walk in the shadows and always look over your shoulder, to see if anyone's there. If you're a woman, wear a silk shawl tied tightly over your hair - if you're a man, a trilby hat, pulled down over the eyes. Wear sunglasses, even though it's dark out. Don't wear a fake mustache, because that's just overdoing it.
Enter the bar, pause, scan the room a few times and then walk directly to the seat cornered between the glaring television and the brick wall, where most of the smoke collects. Pick up the newspaper menu and look through the two cutout spy eyeholes, as if you were actually using them. Hold the menu in front of your face 's with your eyes positioned where they should be 's for quite some time, until the half dozen or so characters in the bar, hunched over their omelets in a post-drunk, pre-hangover daze, start to notice you.
When the waitress approaches you to take your order, mutter no more than "yes" or "no." If possible, don't even say that much. Just nod or shake your head respectively. And when you order, just point. Chose the "traditional omelet," because it reveals the least. When she asks if you'd like ice in your wine (because they do) just stare at her as if you'd never heard such a thing (because you haven't) until she rolls her eyes, flips her notepad shut and walks off.
While waiting for your omelet, keep a tight face and always stare straight ahead. Pull out a tape recorder every once in a while and whisper into it. If you don't have a tape recorder, buy one. Make sure to always slide everything, instead of picking it up. Rearrange the silver wear so that it's more symmetrical. Move the flower vase directly next to the fork and knife. Then slide it back a little. Unfold and refold the red napkin several times. Refrain from scratching your nose.
When the waitress brings you your red wine with ice, smell it - not in a wine connoisseur sort of a way, but in an animal tracker sort of a way. Hold it up to the light and examine it suspiciously. Put it down, slide it to the end of the table, and ask the waitress to take it away. Order a coffee instead.
Before you bite into your omelet, investigate what's inside. Once dissected, eat your meal slowly, as if considering every chew. And be sure not to touch your coffee. After the waitress takes your plate, sit and enjoy the music. Because that's really the only thing - besides the omelet - that there is to enjoy.
Dawn should be slowly creeping its way into the smoky bar by now, so pull your hat a little farther over your eyes. The bill arrives. A little over 3 lats. Get up slowly, put on your coat and lean over the table to sign the check. And when you do, sign it with an X.

Spy Bar Mi6
Kaleju Street 52, Riga
Open: Mon.-Thurs.
10 a.m.- 1 a.m.
Fri. 's Sat. 4:30 a.m. 's 3 a.m.
Sun. 4:30 a.m. 's noon