This is one of the most exciting things to happen to Ayia Napa for a while … sitting centre stage, in the middle of Napa’s Seferis Square, what used to be the best bar in Napa is back, but Minos Bar is now Centro Storico Cafe Lounge Bar & Restaurant … And as Marios said “as one excellent story ends, another one is just beginning” … I think this one starts ‘once upon a time we designed some amazing cocktails and mixed them to perfection and served with them with a little finesse” …
The building has been meticulously restored over the past few years, using a gorgeous sandstone from The Troodos Mountains to decorate the facade, recreating the warmth of the square of old. With no expense spared, right down to the outside lighting, coincidently, perfectly matching those lamp posts already in the square … oh, and their handmade drinks glasses, imported from America, because they wanted to be different are worth going for just for the selfies … brilliant!
Inside, a touch above the rest, comfortable seating designer style from Las Vegas, prints of old on the walls, an antique gramophone player next to a gorgeous fully stocked bar, an open fire for those chilly winter evenings and even wallpaper on the ceiling, hmm, the decor, a credit to their interior designer ‘Bianca Minides’.
Upstairs there’s a wonderful terrace overlooking the square, and over the rooftops all the way to the coast of Ayia Napa … btw, the attention to detail in the kitchen is immaculate and so too the children’s play area, making it the only cafe with a playground, so it’s truly a family affair and a great choice for your kids parties! oh, and as they were the first bar to install satellite dishes back in 1990, they have 5 big screen TV’s so you can catch all the live sports here too!
I met Marios and Costa on my first visit to Cyprus in 1987, then Minos Pub was the ‘in’ bar on the square. So every night I leant on those ornate lamp posts with a JD & Coke in my hand, thinking one day this place will be the new Ibiza … Ten years later I was right, Napa became a clubbing capital of Europe! … with that era past, its now a gorgeous lounge bar, cafe restaurant that opens for brunch, lunch and dinner … and our first visit on their opening day was so good we were there all night!!!
Now, first and foremost this is a cafe, lounge bar and restaurant, so you don’t have to eat to enjoy this place. Naturally you can be sure they’ll serve a lovely cup of tea, refreshments galore and of course delicious fresh ground, roasted coffee, carefully selected and imported from Florence in Italy. The Freddo Espresso and the Cappuccino my faves but if you’re really feeling naughty the Iced White Chocolate a lovely takeaway so too their Frappe. I can’t wait to try the Caramel Chino but the Coffee & Toffee is next on my list … oh, btw, I just love the new coffee machine, which can even copy a picture of you or anything that grabs your imagination on the froth. A great idea for a lovely surprise for your guests … brilliant!
Behind the Bar
We started as all good meals should with chilled glasses and a cocktail. i’d heard so much about their drinks menu I was looking forward to trying one or two … with over 25 liqueurs and aperitifs, draught beers like Peroni and Franziskaner-Weissbier and several bottled beers, Pilsner, Urquell and my fav Stella Artois. The premium spirits include Grey Goose Vodka in various flavours, Beluga, 8 different speciality Gins, Rums, Tequilas and Scotch Whiskies … I like a whiskey so I thought maybe a nice Black Label much as I could easily have chosen one of their premium malts, or speciality whiskies and I noticed the brandies and cognacs, but I’ll save that for after dinner.
The cocktail menu took them 3 years to create, influenced by Mario’s 70 visits to America leaning towards the 80’s … The Signature Cocktails took my fancy, The Hang Loose, Hendricks Gin, fresh lemon juice, giffard, sugar cane, syrup Lejay Crème de Mere a blackberry liqueur, but I went for the Centro Storico, a blend of Remy Martin VSOP, Disaronno Amaretto, Lagavulin Igyo Islay Single Malt Whisky, Honey Water, Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
Their speciality smoked cocktails are all made using Oak, Apple, Hickory Chips and more … The Smoked Gin & Tonic was Louise’s choice, and my second drink was The Smoked Old Fashioned, a shaken Rye Whiskey, Grand Marnier, smoked cinnamon sticks and walnut bitters. The list was varied with a choice of 15 Blockbusters, fantastic value for money.
The choice of cocktails was endless … I think I counted 60 including Margaritas and Frozen Daiquiris and that’s not including the non Alcoholic Cocktails … The ‘Mango Gum’, blended with Moin Bubble gum, syrup, Mango Juice Milk and the ‘Holiday Pomegranate Mojito’ a mix of Mint Leaves, Lime Wedges, Pomegranate Juice, and Lemonade are gonna be every kids favourites … You really must check out their drinks menu before you go so you can taste more than one … I had 3 or 4 😉
If you’re a wine lover you’re going to love this place, as their cava stores some of Cyprus’ finest wines. Again you’ll be spoilt for choice with over 30 selected wines mostly from Cyprus, Greece and Italy to compliment your meal or enjoy watching the world go by in Napa’s square … With 15 different reds to choose from, 10 fresh and fruity whites, chilled to perfection, plus Rose, Sparkling wines and Champagnes.
The Menu was created by head Chef Christo Kyriacou, once at Mavromatis Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol … Assisted by Dad, Author, Antonis Nicolaou an international chef of high acclaim, so you can imagine you’re in for a culinary delight! … For starters, we shared their top selling homemade Spring Rolls but next time it has to be either the Crust Fetta Cheese or the Beef Carpaccio, served with parmesan flakes, baby arugula, wasabi mayonnaise and dill oil, Mmm!
Served ’til 3 pm the Brunch menu looks wonderful … Everything from a huge English Breakfast to Pancakes, or Homemade Buttermilk Waffles, to Smoked Salmon Bagels or a definite in my book is the Coconut Milk Porridge … For a link to their full Menu click here.
There’s also a selection of Sandwiches and Wraps … a couple that caught my eye were the Steak Sandwich or the Vegetarian Wrap, with marinated aubergine, peppers, humous, tomatoes and olives … Hmm or maybe one of their Salads, pastas or pizza? I’m told their carbonara is awesome! oh, and just wait ’til you taste the Pepper Chutney, it’s the chef’s signature compliment and just devine!
If you prefer to share as we often do, the Platters looked lovely … I’ve been highly recommended the Pork Chunk; which is 600 gsm of pork chunk, marinated with mustard, cooked in honey, beer and Mediterranean herbs, sounds like my next meal here … or maybe the Charcuterie Platter, a selection of smoked and cured meats served with pickles and baby leaves …
Surf & Turf
My partner Louise tried the grilled chicken fillet that I tasted and was well impressed, whilst I had the grilled spicy, sweet and sour baby calamari, which was delicious! Both of us had a mix of chips with sweet potato which i thought was very original … it’s going to be hard to resist a fresh Angus Rib-eye or the BBQ Angus Burger all 500gsm of pure Angus Beef on my next visit coz they both looked to die for … and I had a little nibble on the roasted Salmon steak which I’ll have next time I’m in a fishy mood.
I’m hearing this place will become very popular with families coz they have a kids playground but by the sound of it they also pay a little more attention to their kids menu … best sellers are the Fish Goujons and the chicken kebab!
I can tell this’ll be one of those places I pop into just for afters, coz the desserts are all home made. The warm apple pie I shared with Louise was delicious and I tried my friends Brownies, omg! and I also tried the cheesecake which tasted as good as it looked and their waffles and crepe world will probably get me popping in just for coffee and some naughty afternoon delights.
They are planning to hold special events for all the yearly celebrations from New Years Eve Parties to romantic Valentine meals, Easter Celebrations, Mother’s Day, Ladies Day and spooky Halloween nights, to mention but a few … So keep your eyes open on their Facebook Page or follow them on Instagram and tbh they are so geared up for throwing a party give them a call to find out more …
Open all year
Daily 8.30 am ’til 2 am
Daily: 9 am ’til 11 pm
You’ll find them in the centre of Ayia Napa’s Seferis Square, just hit the map icon below …
GPS: 34.990183, 33.999564
Centro Storico is Napa’s New Story!