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Built on the grounds of Mecca, a veteran pick-up bar on Nahalat Binyamin, Artemis hopes to become the mecca of the happening Lilienblum bar compound. It has already succeeded in packing its Y-shaped bar with a diverse crowd - students, young professionals and out of towners - with strict selection at the entrance to keep youngsters away. On any given weekend, there is hardly any room to move around the bar and cognac-colored leather sofas lining the walls.
Artemis has definitely upgraded the design of the old-fashioned Mecca. The architects themed the large space with abstract 18th century-inspired motifs. An ornate, modernized gold chandelier hangs over the patrons in the main hall, adding glamor and drama. But the bar seems to have mixed its metaphors, as "Artemis" is the ancient Greek goddess of the wilderness. But that doesn't bother the fun-loving crowd.
The 18th-century design remains subtle upstairs, where there is some room to move. This floor overlooks the chandelier and the partiers below, and serves as a lounge for private parties and lower-key bar-going. The liquor menu is rich and the food menu features satisfying finger foods such as mini-burgers.
The most spacious area is the restroom lounge downstairs, the size of a small dancefloor. In a city where bars are often judged by the sophistication of their bathrooms, Artemis makes the grade. The "royal chairs" even come with accompanying loveseats.
Artemis, Nahalat Binyamin 52, Tel Aviv. Music: freestyle. Tel: (03) 510-0663; open from 7 p.m. to last customers.
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