VILNIUS - Cozy is back. The once popular cafe, restaurant and DJ bar that shut its doors for a short period has reopened, welcoming back its old weekend flock. Having heard much about this Old Town favorite, but slightly sceptical of the rumors, I decided to put all biases aside and visit the resurrected bar for myself. The decision was well rewarded.
A couple of friends and I tumbled into Cozy's deep basement cavern on a rainy Friday evening. Throughout the Old Town, 20-somethings poured into bars and cafes like drain water. The approaching storm forecast drama. It was a good night to be out.
Since we arrived at a somewhat early hour, Cozy was still half empty. One of the few complaints I'd heard about the bar is that it becomes unbearably packed, leading to one of those dance-in-place, cocktail-face-cocktail situations. But at 9:30 p.m. there was still place to breath.
Being rather hungry, I decided to order a light Caesar salad. Good salads, especially Caesar, are hard to come by in Vilnius, so I didn't expect much. But as soon as I saw that deep bowl of fresh lettuce leaves, golden croutons and dressing-covered chicken my expectations rejuvenated. The salad was better than good, it was delicious. And just like that, Cozy had me. After finishing my light meal, I sank back into my seat and took in the surroundings.
As my friend aptly put it, the place was so nicely unaware of itself. The DJ was just starting up in the corner, nodding his Moby-like bald head, lost in an earphone world of music. A small group of Lithuanian teenagers were laughing at a nearby table, directly across from a few British foreigners laughing at a slightly louder pitch. Overall, the atmosphere was laid back and friendly.
Glossing over Cozy's drink menu, which offered elaborate cocktails for around 10 litas (3 euros), and the local beer for a decent 6, I decided to go with a classic screwdriver. I've never been one for fancy drinks, so why start now. While waiting for our beverages, I couldn't help but notice how gregarious our waiter was. Jumping back and forth from table to table, chatting more with the guests than taking their orders, it almost seemed as if he was hosting his own cocktail party. But then again, perhaps that's just the Cozy coming through.
In a buzz of music, drinks and warm conversation, my friends and I soon lost track of time. When I next looked around the room, the place was almost full. Teenagers were dancing between the tables, and the boisterous group of Brits was now scanning the room for single women. Basically, it was your average Friday night bar scene.
By the time we left Cozy it was, as predicted, rather packed. But looking at the expressions of those stuck in the crowd, most of whom were clearly Cozy frequents, I realized they were almost unaware of the crowding. Like me 10 minutes earlier, they were lost in a cloud of music, drink and friends. And isn't that what a night out is all about? o
Cozy, 10 Dominikonu St., Vilnius
Tel: + 370 261 11 37
More info: http://www.cozy.lt