There are some business stories date back to decades or even centuries ago. In Lisbon, the bar / barbershop O Purista opened doors in 2014 at the hands of Nuno Mendes, but its close relationship with the Belgian beer brand Affligem gives it a certain timelessness, since this craft beer has been in production since 1074. The opening of this innovative space, full of personality, at No. 16C of Rua Nova da Trindade, in the capital, began as a pop up that would last for a month, through a request from Central de Cervejas to Nuno, with the goal of presenting the Affligem brand. The enormous success that the house immediately achieved dictated its continuation.
Nuno grew up in the middle of the restoration business. Several were the businesses his family had, ranging from pastry shops, to restaurants and cafes. In his adulthood he was also always involved in the production of events (mainly entertainment), which seemed like a natural evolution of his academic career in the area of Social Communication. He also managed, for several years, discos and nightclubs in Lisbon and Algarve. Now, the essential ingredients for a successful "recipe" were assembled. To better publicize Affligem, produced in an abbey according to the recipe and the original concept since 1074, our entrepreneur decided to create a whole environment around what this ancient drink represented. To sum it up he created a space with a faithful attitude, a tribute to the activities and state of mind of yesteryear, in which one forgets the bustle of everyday life. With such a goal in mind, nothing says ‘tradition’ better than the craft beers in which the bar specializes, be they national or international and which are complement by the wide range of drinks that can be found in this space.
Following the bar function, the activity that stands out the most is the barber shop. Barber chairs, impossibly heavy and accompanied by tables of dark wood, as well as the buzz of the bar, almost carry us back to other times, where the barbershops were a meeting point for men. The pool table and bookshelves complete this gentleman's club atmosphere.
Of course, above all, O Purista is a bar, so the clientele is not exclusively male. In the morning, the possibility of a quaint cut will draw men from 30 years up, but in the afternoon the bar functionality assures a diversified clientele. The growing tourism that is felt in Lisbon also brings new faces to the establishment. Nuno points out that this tourist boom is an added value of the city, but does not intend to spoil his business, following mainstream trends. The future reserves new products and experiences for the clients of this house, because Nuno intends to continue to expand the business to other parts of Lisbon or even Portugal.
This establishment made of emotions, with all its natural charm, also has a certain magic difficult to describe. Perhaps it is the fact of taking the place of the iconic bookstore Barateira, which Nuno loved to visit when he was little. Or perhaps it comes from the street itself, an area of novelty book shops, with countless stone façades, reminiscent of the convent that once existed there. You can always draw your own conclusions. A simple visit will leave you surrendered to its charms. Do show up!