It constitutes the lobby of the Alvear five-star hotel, one of the most distinguished places in the city, located in the core of Recoleta. Stunningly beautiful, it was built following the French style of the 18th century revealed in the Ritz Hotels.
The Sunday brunches are considered to be the best in the city. The round marble tables stand out in this sumptuous frame once visited by many different world known characters, from the Prince of Wales to Arthur Miller, from Joan Manuel Serrat to Kenzo, from the Spanish Royal Family to Sharon Stone, among many others.
This recently redesigned restaurant opens at 10pm, offering pizza or pasta (you can repeat the dish or the beverages as many times as you want). After 1am it turns into a dance floor. This is where the best classics of the 70’s are revived, which makes this a very special place to go with nostalgic friends and who want to dance.
Since its inauguration in 1930, it still keeps its original charm and decorative style. The impressive entrance wooden door, with bronze details and golden engraved glass, is the first of many details, such as the wooden bar, with a black granite top, and, also displaying bronze, the charming boisserie, the oils that register remembrances and pictures of Buenos Aires, and the three chandeliers with enormous crystal balls.
With these relics that keep the charm and glamour, this is one of those places that take us back to the typical porteño bar of those times of glory.
The wall holds a diploma through which this bar boasts about its importance in terms of the city’s history.
This is one of the “Bares Notables” (literally “remarkable bars”, were considered so by law because of their close relation to the local culture), named in allusion to the porteño tradition of playing billiards. It offers some rooms on the ground floor, “half-hidden” behind the wooden screen that separates the coffee room from the billiard tables.
Its inauguration took place in 1894, and still keeps the original features on the façade, such as the red granite an the three streetlamps illuminating the entrance. Its interior displays tables typical of old porteño cafés, red granite floors, and a boisserie with large grape bunches engraved on it. The entrance to the basement is indicated by a sign that says “3 bandas, libre, cuadro, cassin, snooker” (ways of playing billiards), giving access to another billiards section. The whole place is thought out to protect the privacy of the players by clearly dividing the bar from the playing room. The crash of the balls, the smell of coffee and the mystery disclose countless characters that constitute the living history of Buenos Aires.
There are performances of popular musicians (especially tango ones) from time to time.
Regarding the regular consumption, coffee is typical in the morning, and picadas and a good beer are strongly recommended for the afternoon and evening, especially in warm seasons.
It opened as a simple grocery store in 1930 under this name. However, it is popularly know as “El bar de Roberto” (Roberto’s bar), its owner, who has made this little place a home to his friends, putting his warmth into its manners and rituals. His passion for literature becomes evident by seeing the library “at hand” for those guests who wish spend their time reading a poem. It also displays old bottles of full-bodied drinks that accumulated as much dust as legends of the regular clients that would stop at the bar for a gin on their way to the “Mercado de Abasto” (the neighborhood was named after this whole-sale market, and it is located where the Abasto mall stands).
During the afternoon, the neighbors gather for a card game. And, from Thursday through Sunday, the night revives the bohemia of yesteryear, with rather young people that converge in search of the most genuine tango truth. All-time singers play “unplugged” some eternal classics, as well as some of those forgotten treasures that the audience sing along and celebrate. This is a genuine place where the porteño simplicity ritualizes through the meeting ceremony.
As the story goes, this bar has been the source of inspiration for many of Great Anibal Troilo’s tangos; he would spend many hours here rehearsing drafts of scores, that is why this corner inherits his name.
On weekdays it is a typical “porteño” bar, becoming on Friday and Saturday nights a restaurant that offers a top-level international tango show.
The place displays pictures, objects, writings and scores belonging to the “Bandoneon Master” that keep him alive.