"Sweet Emotion" isn't a song you would generally associate with a Caribbean cafe, yet that's what's playing this night at Rhumba, 950 Pearl Street in Boulder. The bar's cramped and crowded, so some patrons are braving the cold and sitting at tables outside. The temperature out there is far from Caribbean -- and so, for that matter, is Rhumba's clientele. Although the decor is part Florida Keys, part Cuba, there isn't a Latin face in the joint. The female population seems caught between sorority and soccer-mom status; the guys look equally post-frat. The young, friendly staff works through the overly loud music and overly restricted space to serve up libations from an extensive and eclectic drink menu that includes wines from around the globe as well as cachaca, a Brazilian liquor used in that country's traditional caipirinha. Anyone looking for a dark, sultry corner at Rhumba will be disappointed; the room is relentlessly bright. Hemingway probably wouldn't drink here, and even the portrait of Che Guevera looks uncomfortable. But the bands rock if you're under thirty -- or if you own the proper wardrobe to pretend that you are.
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