There's a new kid in town, and his name is Iberia. Located directly across from the ever-popular The Steer near UB's Main Street campus, Iberia bravely offers an alternative to the collection of trite watering holes Main Street calls its bar district.
Driving down Main Street on a lively Friday night anxiously searching for the "new orange club," I thought it would be impossible to spot the place, even if it is orange. This proved to be no problem, though, for as I turned my head to check the activity at The Steer and then quickly glanced in the opposite direction when Iberia's trendy orange neon sign caught my eye.
Although the building's facade is simple, Iberia definitely does not blend in. Its clean lines contrast with the defunct and sometimes foul appearance of Main Street's other bars. Iberia's sophisticated style is based on what bar-owner Tim Stevens saw in Spain, and offers a nice alternative to New York City-based students looking for something a little closer to home.
Last Friday, two smiling but intimidating bouncers were stationed by the door to check IDs and keep an eye on the patrons sitting at small sidewalk tables who themselves keeping an eye on Main Street's drunken night life.
As I walked in, I saw a DJ enthralled in the productions of his little glass booth, which endeared the bar to me immediately.
Iberia features a different DJ spinning each night, which Stevens touts as "the best DJs around."
Actually, I loved the place. The d?(c)cor is outstanding. Rough beige walls that appear coated with sand surround its patrons while multi-colored lights pulse and throb with the music, across the walls, and into one's head.
The night I visited, two young men in black manned the marble-topped bar, chatting easily with their patrons - another very attractive element of the decorating scheme.
Iberia has an extensive wine list of 27 bottles. The house wines of red, white and blush run $3.00 by the glass. Well-mixed drinks are $2.50 and more expensive mixed drinks, such Tanqueray and tonic, cost $3.50.
Behind the bar is a glass liquor cabinet, above which a large screen flashed some sort of 1970s X-rated film. Instead of being offensive, as are most make-out scenes visible on Main Street, the movie added to the atmosphere, charging it with sexuality
To the right of the DJ's booth is a small room lined with black couches but open enough to accommodate many gyrating bodies. When I arrived, however, there were only a few couples in the room, so I turned to find the bar again and discovered the large picture window above a black couch that graces Iberia's entire front wall, offering a muted view of the chaos outside.
Iberia is located at 3148 Main Street.