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THE COSMOPOLITAN BAR
This relatively new bar is one of the most refined places to spend your evenings in Almaty. Few places have the word 'class' written over them to quite the extent Cosmo does. The management have not only done a great job in establishing such a feature of the city's night scene in such a short space of time, but also know how to make sure that the place lives up to its reputation and retains its customers week in week out.
It would be reasonable to associate the word 'cosmopolitan' with both its literal meaning and also with the stylish magazine which for many years now has popularised fashion across the world. In naming this establishment, the owners clearly understood that both connotations would have relevance to the lounge bar and the people who visit. Any evening in Cosmopolitan is a testimony to their choice, as a diverse clientele gathers in one of the plushest joints in town to chill into the early hours.
Getting to Cosmopolitan is relatively easy as it is at the rear of the Kazakhstan Hotel complex and typically only accessible round the back, where there is car-parking if required. Crossing the neat patio (with an upstairs veranda under construction) takes you into the entrance area where friendly door staff are charged with the responsibility of making sure that guests likely to spoil the atmosphere do not get past the door. If you're over 21 and there for the live music, the fun and the friends you'll have no trouble getting in, and will be glad you did. Dress code is smart / smart casual, so dress to impress.
The interior has been carefully designed and furnished to reflect the style the establishment has become known for, and the nicely framed photos are worth a few moments of attention themselves. However, very few people go to a bar to admire what's on the walls, no matter how good they are and for this reason the main attention goes on getting the balance right for the entertainment side of things. Live music is regular and performed by top local musicians. The stage is small but this is not a problem as it gets the job done, and permits more space for people to dance. And it's not one of those places where the music is so loud you have to shout at the person next to you, the atmosphere is just right. Cosmopolitan also sometimes doubles up as a piano bar, although not regularly.
The priority of Cosmopolitan is not to be a restaurant, although with their fusion styled kitchen they know their cuisine. Given the nature of the bar and the usual reasons for visiting, the focus in on what you order from the bar, not the kitchen. There must be a thousand different drinks here. People don't necessarily go to Cosmopolitan for the sake of drinking, but this is not to say they don't appreciate the many options a little splash of which can make the party. They certainly have drinks you may never have heard of, and although that's not the point, it's highly likely you can find either your favourite tipple behind the bar, or find a new favourite. It's not a place for lovers of real ale or traditional brews, but the options on offer do make sure that the atmosphere is very far from dull.
The interior, holding 80 people, would not be best described with a word like 'snug', but there is a certain intimacy which makes it easier to meet people. The establishment's total capacity is more than 120-130 in summer with the terraces holding 70-80 people themselves. The bar is open from 3 p.m. and closes at 4 a.m. with most people staying until the end, certainly at weekends. This is because parties in Cosmo are not the intermittent types with a bit of music and then silence again. Here the fun is non-stop from the moment the café changes tack and becomes a lounge bar in the mid-evening, and the reclined leisure you would expect to find in a coffee bar transforms into the energy of a celebration with guests and professional dancers keeping the energy moving until morning.
If you go along, you will be one of the many nationalities represented in this lounge bar where everybody is welcome, and treated to the very best in fun.