Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fantastic Saturday Night at Cafe De Sol in Sombor, Serbia

Cafe De Sol is a six minute taxi ride outside downtown Sombor... but you feel like you're in a whole other universe. It's spacious, with groups of tables and chairs scattered on beautifully designed patios, each with its own elegantly trimmed tree or large umbrellas, running in a series of terraces gradually down the hillside to the canal. Sombor is flat as a pancake, so the sensation of being on a slight hill alone was refreshing. The lighting is romantic, the sound a foot-tapping selection of mixed European and US house music.

At about 9:30pm when we arrived, it was tranquil and empty. By midnight when we left, the place was packed, with people four or five deep at the long bar. It felt like the party was just starting.

I had a chance to chat with owners Serge and Maria when we arrived. Serge is a Sombor native who is bursting with local patriotism and entrepreneurial enthusiasm. He's the most laid back guy I ever met with so much vim and enthusiasm. Like a chilled out workaholic. Maria is from Spain, but is now a proud Serb passport holder. She's practical, down to earth, and smart. Turns out the patios and hand-built bars we admired were made by Serge and Maria's own hands. They've literally built the place brick by brick themselves, and have even bigger plans.

Serge had to make a run to Novi Sad around 9:45 to pick up the Jagermeister girls -- a half dozen waitresses dressed in scanty orange and black outfits who scampered about all night offering patrons test tube shots. It's a special promotion. Cafe de Sol's regular waiters continued their jobs as well. "Your waitresses are a lot prettier than the girls Jagermeister sent all the way to Novi Sad for," I told Maria. "I know, " she replied, "That's why we hired them. Check out the male waiters too. It's 50/50 here, male/female." Ah, a fact that perhaps only a woman could appreciate.

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