Nick Cave says farewell to his favourite bar in the world

The establishment is being demolished as part of a redevelopment

Nick Cave has revealed what he believes to be “the world’s greatest bar” on his Red Hand Files website.

For the 163rd entry into his online Q&A platform, the Bad Seeds frontman took a question from a Brazillian fan called Lucas.

“Nick, the bar ‘Mercearia São Pedro’, a place you used to go when you lived in São Paulo, will close its doors and be replaced by an expensive building. What do you think about it?” he asked.


In response, Cave recalled living in an area of São Paulo called Vila Madalena during the early 1990s – a period he described as “simple and good” and “the best of times”.

“At the end of our street was Merceario São Pedro, a grocery store that doubled as an outdoor bar,” he explained. “Every day at around 11 o’clock I would round up [his son] Luke, who was about two at the time, and together we would set out up the hill to Pedro’s.”

He continued: “I would sit Luke up on a stool next to me at the bar and we would eat cheese pastels, and the owner, Pedro, would talk to Luke till the workers came in for lunch. We would then shift to a table on the pavement outside and sit in the sun. I would read and write stuff and Luke would suck his dummy, or on a Chupa Chup which Pedro had slipped him on the sly.”

Cave went on to remember that he penned some lyrics during that period, including for the tracks ‘The Ship Song’ (1991), ‘Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry’ (1992) and ‘Foi Na Cruz’ (1990).

“But mostly I just sat and smoked cigarettes and drank a beer and talked to Luke, while he sucked his Chupa Chup and watched and listened.”


Referring to the redevelopment of the area and planned demolition of the aforementioned bar, Cave added: “I know that we are facing more pressing problems than the demolition of a little bar in Sao Paulo, yet even still, a piece of Vila Madalena’s soul will be lost when they rip that place down, and a piece of mine too.

“So, I say goodbye to Merceario São Pedro, the world’s greatest bar, and I say thank you to Pedro, for the kindness that he always showed to my little boy, Luke.”

Meanwhile, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have added two more dates to their UK tour this autumn.