Greinasafni: Icelandic Times einnig undir: Veitingar
B5: Enjoying oneself in a splendid environment

Walking up a hill that lies right  in the center of Reykjavik, you notice, through a huge window, a big black horse, which seems to be guarding the place. Closer look will reveal B5, a café, a bar and a bistro where you can have a cup of coffee during the day and enjoy a nice dinner followed by a great night out witnessing the famous Icelandic nightlife.

B5 stands for Bankastræti 5, the street that begins at the crossroads of Lækjagata and Austurstræti and is considered by many to be the exact center spot of downtown Reykjavík. Bankastræti runs up a hill that used to be called the Bakers Hill back in  the days, because of a bakery that as situated there in the 19th century. Right when Bankastræti stops sloping, it turns into Laugavegur, the best-known “café” and shopping street in Reykjavík. The nightlife scene in Reykjavík is lively all year round, even in the worst of  weathers during January and February.But it is in the summertime that things get really unbelievable. Walking down the Bankastræti hill at 4 o’clock in the morning, you could easily mistake it for 4 o’clock in the afternoon. It is completely bright outside and you can probably see more people walking up and down the hill than at the same time in the afternoon. The only difference being that the crowd is a bit louder. B5 has succeeded in making a name for itself in the nightlife scene. If you want to dance your feet off without bruises  and trampled toes due to a crampedand crowded dance floor, B5 is the ideal place to be. 

At the same time there is enough space to rest between dancing, as the bar has a huge lounge in the cellar, comfortably furnished for a nice chat over a drink. But one does not need to limit one’s visit to late evenings and nights. B5  also serves as a café during the day and a cozy bistro for suppertime. “Today we concentrate on a rather classy lounge atmosphere during the day and early evening, which turns into a lively club later on, where we can guarantee that your night out cannot fail, with everybody dancing and enjoying themselves tremendously,” says Guðmundur Gíslason who runs the multifaceted bar.

 B5 puts great effort in its interior decorating, every piece of furniture has been picked out to harmonize with each other and utmost care is taken that the space isn’t over-furnished, so  you can easily move through. They also have a small library where onecan always find something to read. Therefore, B5 is the ideal place to go when you have an idle hour to kill and want to relax over a good cup of  coffee.“With the rising sun we are going to come up with a new menu for our bistro. We will emphasize a simple but good menu. We have been getting a lot of groups and both the place and the menu is well suited for them. I have been getting really good feedback from those groups and many of them keep returning,” says Guðmundur. 

“During the summertime we have tables outside in front of the bar, we are quite lucky with the sun, it shines  all day long at our side of the street, with nothing to cast a shadow on our spot. And people in the city use every minute of the sun there is, so the town is always lovely on a sunny  summer day,” says Guðmundur. “On Thursdays we have live music, we have two amazing guys playing, Sjonni Brink and Vignir Snær. They  have the great ability to be able to read the room, what people want to hear, so the dance floor is, more often than not, the most popular spot of the bar. Those  events have become popular amongstIcelanders and foreign travelers alike. We often see people walking past turning back to check out what is going on, entering the place and partying until closing!

“In B5 you will hear music that you are probably familiar with to some extent, whether it is the DJ playing during the weekends or the live music on Thursdays. When they are playing live they quite often take cover songs that people know and can sing along with, whether it is Johnny Cash, the Beatles or even Bee Gees. The DJs play everything from Michael Jackson to new R&B songs. What all the songs have in common is that you get the urge to move along with them. “In the end it is just about creating an environment that you feel comfortable in, where you can hang out with your friends, wine and dine, easily meet new people and dance all night long if you please,” says Guðmundur.

Bankastræti 5
tel. 5529600

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