An owner with a wealth of stories about life in China (he spent two decades in Harbin before moving to Beijing), a solid core of regulars, some of the best wine pours in the city (rmb30 for a big glass of Aussie Shiraz), decent pizza, seating both at the bar and at tables in its cozy confines, a small deck out front, etc.
Cafe Carmelo is a bar that most any neighborhood — in this case, Moma — would be happy to have. I visited on Saturday and spent an afternoon sipping wine, chatting with the regulars and listening to owner Charlie talk Harbin history. A relaxing way to wind down after a long week.
Much more relaxing than my first visit, a month ago, which involved heavy candlelit imbibing during a power cut to the whole complex, due to construction, and then a trip to nearby Durty Nellie’s for a couple of hours of bar games. Trust me, no one wins when a game of Jenga gets out of control. Stick with Cafe Carmelo and the wine.
You can find Cafe Carmelo on the first floor of building 6.
(Hat tips to Lloyd F and Betty for convincing me to visit.)