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Published April 26, 2010

Rum Diaries
A Secret Rum Bar in the East Village

The East Village might not deserve another great bar.

But as of this week, it's getting one.

Starting tonight for friends and family (and next Monday for the public), the corner of Sixth and A will be all about the power of rum, the crumbling majesty of Cuba and the glory of the revolution.

Okay, the revolution's optional...

Introducing Cienfuegos, a rum social club from the gentlemen boozeniks behind Death & Co and Mayahuel, set to take the East Village by storm.

It's here that you'll want to hold court this summer, where the sugarcane spirit is worshipped in punch bowls and tin cups (ordered in one-, two- and three-finger pours). Upon arrival, you'll find you've shifted back in time and a few degrees closer to the equator—the long room is decked in light green and antique pink, none of the chairs match, there are candle stains on the walls, and all the tables show faint reminders of drinks past.

It's a place that makes the most sense on breezy, sunny afternoons where you'll sit in front of open second-floor windows, sip exotic rum cocktails (like the El Cobre), nosh on Cuban small plates and listen to vintage Cuban tunes while making eyes with raven-haired neighborhood rum enthusiasts.

If this sounds like your speed, you'll first need to navigate into the unassuming Cubano counter Carteles, pass by the stacked sandwiches and Café Bustelo, make your way up the back stairs and let the revolution begin—preferably at the large, patched-together conference table in front.

The best revolutions always start at conference tables.
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Photo: John Neitzel

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