An actual place in São Paulo, Bar Secreto is the kind of club that could have sprung from your imagination. Did the DJ really just doodle on your hand with a neon highlighter? Is that beat-up leather couch actually sitting outside the club’s front door or are you just having a David Lynch moment? And that guy, the one wearing the glittery tap-dance outfit, is he really dancing with one of São Paulo’s most notorious playboys? On any given night, the narrow, clandestine street that’s home to Bar Secreto buzzes with an odd mix of characters, where Gossip Girl types meet the city’s underground. Madonna recently spilled the well-kept “secret” by choosing the venue for an after-party. Considering the whole Jesus Luz thing, one can only wonder: blame it on Rio or blame it on Bar Secreto? Here, the owner of Bar Secreto, an individual just as secretive as the club, preferring to remain anonymous, talks about creating São Paulo’s hottest party.
Ines Schinazi: How did you come up with the idea for Bar Secreto?
Bar Secreto: The house belongs to our family. We wanted a place for more mature people to party. We wanted to promote cross-cultural encounters in a city where everything is segmented. We wanted a place where money would not rule. And we wanted to give people the sensation of a home away from home.
The diversity of Bar Secreto is rare in a stratified city like São Paulo. Was this mix something you intended?
Since the beginning. It’s a belief. It’s a necessity. It’s a fight.
Bar Secreto obviously gained major international exposure when Madonna had her after-party there. What was that like for you?
It was unexpected. Strangely, it was a very cool party in itself, even apart from the whole celebrity factor. We have good memories from that night because we like to make people feel at home. And this definitely happened, even on that night.
In this fame-obsessed era, what does celebrity mean for you?
Nothing. We never tried to bring well-known people to the bar. They come on their own. This is not what makes a good party.
Bar Secreto seems to attract a fashion crowd. What’s the connection between the fashion world and the nightlife scene in Brazil?
Nightlife is visual. So is fashion. They both play with cultural codes. Apart from that, we like to promote Brazilian brands who are proud of their origins.
What’s the number one reason people should drop by?
To meet nice people and to be entertained honestly.
You’ve lived both in Brazil and abroad. What makes São Paulo nightlife special?
What does the future hold for Bar Secreto?
We believe in the intelligence of people, and these people prefer to discover rather than to be discovered. We like to bring them new sounds and new experiences, not necessarily the latest trend. We love the feeling of live music. We are in between a wedding party with amazing DJs and some avant-garde music that will initially frighten the crowd and then make them move.
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