If you need any further proof that Fado is no longer just a thing of the past, all you need to do is go to the restaurant of Lisbon’s Fado Museum. While for many people that music genre is associated to the country’s 20th century dictatorship, sung by old folks at restaurants that are nothing but tourist traps, new singers that have attracted the spotlight on the World Music stage are changing that image of Fado. Mariza is the most famous example, but other young singers are also helping reinvent Lisbon’s soulful music.
When the Fado Museum reopened last October, it not only included new multimedia exhibitions, but also a new restaurant. Those expecting to find old guitars hanging on the walls, black shawls, or the typical tiled and candle-lit space were mistaken. Instead, this restaurant has a minimalist, almost all-white and black interior filled with modern furnishings, including Philippe Starck chairs. You can still hear Fado from Tuesday to Sunday, but here you’ll be reminded that this is a contemporary sound, as much as it is of a nostalgic past.
Doors stays open until 2AM and the hope is that it will attract younger fans of Fado and curious young tourists. Don’t expect a revolutionary new sound however, as the music you’ll hear is pure classic Fado.
On the menu you’ll obviously find Portuguese dishes, although with a contemporary twist. Without wine included, expect to pay anywhere between 20 and 25 euros.