“Maus Habitos” Translated means, “Bad Habits”, it looks like one of Great Gatsby’s penthouse apartments if he lived in the centre of Porto. The old Portuguese aristocrat feel to this place gives it a surprisingly interesting 1930-40 old-school charm, that is common in certain areas of the city from that period; like “Passos Manuel Bar”, “Confeitaria Cunha” and “Mercado do Bolhao” they offer a portal to how people lived in this city before it became more modern and touristic.
The history of this place is quite interesting since it was built to be the garage for the neighbouring theatre “Coliseu do Porto”, on the other side of the street. The first 3 floors are normal parking spaces while on the 4th floor, it used to house lawyers, hairdressers, barbers, tailors and office spaces. Back in the day “Maus Habitos” was an elite automobile club meant for powerful aristocrats and high class citizens, since having a car was sign of freedom in the fascist period only the upper class had access to these facilities. At a certain point it was also the audition room for a famous Portuguese band called “GNR” but due to the high levels of noise, the hotel next door complained and they moved to another location. Today “Maus Habitos” is a Bar, Restaurant, Café, Cinema, Concert Venue and Exhibition Space, let’s say that it could also be considered an elitist hipster club where you can go and show off ur new nose ring, beard and skinny jeans.
The Space is well thought out and spacious and I would consider it to be one of the best places in Porto to watch a concert. It is also reasonably priced, a beer is €1.50, but during the happy hour (Wednesday from 10 until it closes and 17:00 until 20:00 on the remaining days) the price drops to €1.20, a Gin tonic is €4, a glass of wine is €2 and the price for a whole bottle ranges from €7-€20. Recently they have also opened a restaurant here which serves mainly vegetarian options, this is why they have picked an Italian style of cuisine since it is the easiest for vegetarians to adapt to. I was also told that they offer a “Pernil” roasted pig’s leg, seasoned with cinnamon and dates, for bigger groups, but that they will start to offer it in sandwiches very soon, I was told.
As I mentioned earlier what brings me to “Maus Habitos” is mainly if there is a concert, it is a place you go after dinner in case there is something specific you want to see there. The view is also incredible, almost as if you are in a penthouse apartment overlooking part of the city, the atmosphere is relaxed and there is always something going on a Thursday night. It started off as an elitist automobile club for the rich and has turned into one of the best stages in Porto. The proximity to “Belas Artes”, the art faculty of the University of Porto, offers the exhibition room a rotational demonstration of the new artistic talent that is spawning in Porto as well as the cinema which offers regular Short-movie viewings also from local directors. Even though the place is called Bad Habits, I enjoy the fact that it has become one of my good habits to often go there on Thursdays, and time-travel back to the 1930’s.
Address: Rua Passos Manuel, 178 – 4º, Porto, Portugal
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 2:00 Mon-Sat
Tel.: 22 208 7268