It would be easy to miss 1975, tel: (961-3) 323 700, on Monot Street in Ashrafiyeh, one of Beirut's hippest quarters, but the life-size mannequin of a combatant climbing the military webbing near the window gives it away. Inside, mortar shells and spent grenades are propped on ledges of the rough, bullet-pocked walls. Scrawled graffiti on the mezzanine level extols loyalty to armed factions, and the ceiling is lined with barbed wire. The music is not the techno pop blasting all night from most DJs' turntables across Beirut, but the nationalist crooning of wartime stars like Fayrouz.
But nothing seems to match 1975's dedication to martial morbidness. Here, you can sink into the bar's floor cushions that look like filled sandbags, and order a cocktail from a waiter dressed in combat fatigues who was born long after 1975like those sipping the drinks. So what draws the young and trendy Lebanese crowd? "Our parents tell us the war was a good time," says bartender Ali Ajami, 21. It can certainly seem that way from the comfort of 1975.