Bar owner and visionary John Burla decided his day-to-day as a paralegal had run its course. Like many who dream of the autonomy that comes with owning a business, Burla gathered his resources and invested in what many would agree is the riskiest sector of the service industry, bar ownership. A bold move in today’s economy, John’s headlong commitment is evident in the improvements on the space. Prior to his ownership Bar Pelham, as it is now known, was home to another drinking establishment with a reputation of seconding as a drug den to local vagrants. The quaint 1200 sq-ft space is located in the north Bronx, at the crossroads of the 6 Train and numerous bus routes, most notably the BX 12, which during the summer months extends its route all the way to Orchard Beach.
Upon entering Bar Pelham one cannot help being taken by the iridescent, white quartz counter with ingrained metallic and glass chips which reflect four luminous light pillars that change color along the primary spectrum. Rightly so, the rest of the lounge centers on this stunning bar. The minimalist black and white paint job and blonde parquet floors offer soothing relief to anyone who remembers the abrasive aluminum sheets that once covered the walls.
Establishing an air of modernity and an almost downtown club feel is only step one in John’s plan to revive class and culture in The Bronx. In order to truly inspire and allow his patrons to adopt a new association with The Bronx's bar & lounge scene John and his team are designating several evenings a month to mixed media events. Media parties have long been established in the artsier parts of the city, primarily NYC’s East and West Village and Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, as a way for owners to attract clientele on slower nights. For attendees the incentive is to participate and witness NYC's art revival, and for artists it is a DIY way to get one’s work in front of a local audience and potential buyers. Bar Pelham will set a precedent as being the first Bronx bar to dedicate secondary usage of its space to live painting, amateur filmmaker screenings, and literary readings.
Apart from the more classic happenings like Bar Pelham's, karaoke night, lady's night, and gaming tournaments Its multimedia events, not only seek to increase revenue, but also attract a diverse patronage. It is an effort to tear down any predetermination of what a Bronx bar is and unite people in the name of booze and contemporary culture.
Be on the lookout for Bar Pelham’s first Media Party and for general information, news, and media on its current kick-ass festivities please visit their website or hit them up on Facebook and Twitter.