VooDoo – el Mistico

by Alex on May.06, 2009, under Blog


Voodoo is no more – recently speaking to Ben, my mate who set up Voodoo, I learned that on returning to Nicaragua from the US, his ex-business partner Mark had closed Voodoo and stolen not only his half of the business but all his personal possessions.

Original post:

Sitting in my usual wifi cafe a few days ago I overheard a group of people finalising the menu for a new bar cum restaurant that they were soon to open. Being anal about the use of English and having seen hundreds of spelling mistakes and inconsistencies in menus over the years, I felt compelled to offer a few observations over the final draft. This is how I met Ben and his bar:

VooDoo, Calle La Libertad, one block towards the lake from Parque Central, right hand side,
Granada, Nicaragua.

VooDoo promises to be a very cool bar/restaurant. The idea is to provide a place where a diverse range of people choose to hang out, meeting other interesting and interested people, making friends, swapping stories, exchanging ideas and of course, chilling out. Excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere is key to the ethos of VooDoo and I think that this alone makes it stand out from many other bars and restaurants in Granada, Nicaragua and indeed Latin America. Yet of course, this is not all that is on offer. Food is of very high quality, locally sourced and fresh. Vegetarian food is always on offer and specials are interesting, diverse and regularly changed. Cocktails are excellent, Ben having much experience working in expensive bars and hotels in the US.

Click below for map


Ben and Mark, the other owner, are not in this just to make money. Key to the business is integrating with and being of active benefit to local community. Even the name of the place was changed so as to mean something to Spanish-speakers. Spanish for voodoo is vudú and sounds pretty much the same as the English, it was felt though that the connection was not that obvious and so ‘el mistico’ was added to the name so that it would make more sense. The guys are displaying the work of local artists (including that of John Oliver), have invited John to do a poetry recital (great break for John) and want to get the street closed one night and have a break dance competition, offering decent prizes – some of the local guys are amazing breakdancers and currently ‘perform’ outside the gringo bars where, although I’m sure people are well entertained, they don’t appear to afford them the attention nor the monetary contribution that they might were they to be performing in London, Berlin, Paris or wherever.

Staff are paid more than is normal here and are given proper meals rather than the rice and beans that is the norm in most places. Left over food is given to the staff to take home for their families and they are actively coached to help them improve their effectiveness in their positions.

Themed nights will be had, The Big Lebowski and Halloween being definite and suggestions will be sought from patrons, staff and friends. All in all, once established, it’ll be a very cool place for those who visit the bar, the staff and the local community.

The opening night went really well (I didn´t get home ´til 4 am), I hope to be able to get back to see the guys in a few months. Breast of luck y´all!


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