It's about the music

Shesek: a laid-back bar seemingly bereft of Tel Aviv poza.

shesek 88.298 (photo credit: )
shesek 88.298
(photo credit: )
Shesek is seemingly bereft of Tel Aviv poza, or the cool stance of well-dressed nightlife fiends who prowl Tel Aviv bars and nightclubs to see and be seen rather than to let loose and dance. But since its opening five years ago, Shesek has become a Tel Aviv establishment with its own unique type of poza for the nouveau laid-back, eccentric and vanguard. The place was built to look like a retro dive and the bartenders don't look like models, as they do at Shesek's more upscale neighbors on Lilienblum St. They're dressed in second-hand jeans, vintage T-shirts and dark-rimmed glasses to make sure patrons feel that it really doesn't matter what you wear. Freaks are welcome. But it's the music and DJ line-up that Shesek prides itself on, and which contribute to its bohemian basement feel. You won't be hearing MTV hits at Shesek. DJs come to parade their more enlightened and less conventional tastes: from hip hop reggae funk to gospel house to calypso. "The main idea here was always about the music and DJs playing without any pretense. It's not a guy who has cool CDs; he's really into whatever he's playing," says Oren Alkalai, who also owns the swanky cocktail lounge Mish Mish up the street. Having lived and worked in New York for several years, he took some inspiration from East Village joints. On any given night, a small dance corridor where the DJ spins will be filled with loose, guzzling partiers of all shapes and sizes getting into the groove. There's no menu and no food except for snacks like olives, feta cheese and nuts. Happy hour runs from 9 to 10:30 p.m. (buy one get one free). Rehov Lilienblum 17, Tel Aviv; (03) 516-9520; Hours: From 9 p.m.