RIGA - Nothing quite brings out the sheep-like nature of people more than fashion. And few places are riper with grazing grounds than Riga, where people are routinely fleeced in just about every conceivable way. Take the new bar-cum restaurant Kapteina Enriko Pulkstenis (Captain Enriko's Watch), for example. It recently opened in a cool part of town, so that cool people can all go there, and be cool, because it's a cool sort of place.
Like so many new bar-cum-restaurants in Riga, Captain Enriko's Watch tries to fuse together an eclectic range of historic elements into one perpetual Happy Hour, subjugating past to present, and culture to coolture. The unusual name comes from an old Latvian film and doesn't mean anything in the least, except that it comes from an old Latvian film and it sounds cool.
There are various artefacts on the brightly colored walls such as a surfboard, a portrait of the despotic 1930s president Ulmanis, a trumpet, an abacus, and several other objects that have nothing in common, except the fact that they're "cool-looking."
I can almost imagine the owners as they rummaged around antique stores and markets, excitedly hunting for eye-catchingly cool old things to stick on the walls.
The menu is cool, too. It has a diverse range of dishes at cool prices. I ordered breakfast when I went there, which came on a huge white plate and consisted of almost nothing, but in a distinctly cool sort of way.
After finishing my cool breakfast in about two minutes, I had to take my mind off my hunger and so I mused on my surroundings instead.
Captain Enriko's Watch is actually a nice place to go and have a meal or a drink or just a cup of coffee on a chilly winter afternoon. It's designed to be as generic and laid-back as possible, with a long row of window tables set at a decent space from one another, and two enormous sofas at either end of the room.
Salt 'n' Pepper is the only place that does this sort of thing better. John Lemon is quite good at laidback as well, but it's filled with teenagers most of the time sending text messages to their friends at the next table. And then there's Cuba, Orange Bar, Casablanca, Teatra Bars (Theater Bar), Istaba (The room) and many more places, all of which are distinctly, decidedly and determinedly cool.
I wish that I could say more about Captain Enriko's Watch, but I fear it would be superfluous. It's a cool place: what more do you need to know? Of course, it would be interesting to dissect that slippery little word, and see what it's really made of, but this is a mere restaurant review.
I can confidently say that Captain Enriko's Watch will get good write-ups in almost every tourist guide that tells people what's hot, what's not, and what's what, for the especially confused.
So shall we meet at Captain Enriko's Watch then? Sure, sounds great. What time? Cool, but I'll probably be a little late.
Kapteina Enriko Pulkstenis
Antonija St.. 13
tel.: (+371) 733 8973