Unlike its neighbours both in the region and beyond, Israel never had any ethical or legal reasons to prohibit consumption of alcohol, especially none that would necessitate the rise of speakeasy bars. Yet for every rising global trend in leisure and nightlife, there will always be the Tel Avivian response. Deli, a New York style sandwich shop fronting a cloak and dagger mini-club, is the newest addition to the revived Allenby Street nightlife scene. Founded by a team of nightlife veterans, the venue seeks to provide that bathtub gin appeal with a unique selection of classic cocktails such as the Fitzgerald and Sidecar. As you walk in through the deli, head for the large gray door in the back.
It is quite a challenge for those familiar with the location’s previous incarnation, that of a trashy heavy metal bar, to wrap their head around such an impressive face-lift. The retro feel of the establishment is set by the Edison light bulbs illuminating the front room, where an inviting bar dominates over a few corner couches and high top tables. A steady soundtrack of electronic music is heard through a refreshingly clear sound system, fed from the DJ in the next room.
With a dance-floor that can fit over a hundred individuals, as well as tables for private parties, expect a crowd of later twenties to even later thirties seeking a steamy night out. The crowd will be smartly dressed; holding martini and flute glasses rather the usual pints. The place is fairly new, and enjoys the buzz of novelty, and so should you.