If in Lisbon and tired of packed bars of Bairro Alto or Bica, here are a few more offbeat cultural options.
Bacalhoeiro (Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 125, first & second floor; 21.886.4891) is a cultural collective that organizes courses and workshops (from tango to oriental dance), lectures, fund-raising dinners, and photo shows. On any given weekend night, you can expect to hear anything from DJs spinning afrobeat to live jazz or klezmer.
Crew Hassan (Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 159, first floor; 21.346.6119) is a cultural cooperative set in a series of rooms with an ambiance of a private apartment. They also run workshops (djembe drumming, forro etc); expositions; film screenings; concerts; and more. It’s a nice place to stop by for a quiet drink, and there’s usually a DJ in one of the rooms.
Fábrica Braço de Prata (Rua da Fábrica do Material de Guerra 1; 96.735.4817) opened a year ago in a converted weapons factory in an industrial area close to the waterfront. It houses artist studios, a library, a café-bar, a theater, and a cinema. When I went there last Saturday night, there was an opera-installation based on the texts of Fernando Pessoa, Garcia Lorca and Hannah Arendt.