During the day, the occasional tourists visiting the Cathedral Basillica Metropolitana might wander into this local spot across the street from Parque Bolivar in Medellin, Colombia. After dark, however, chances are that the foreigners have all scurried back to the safety of El Poblado as the area is deemed “dangerous.” And at the time of writing it was for those who don’t understand the barrio or pay attention.
When Arcesio bought the bar seven years ago he didn’t change a thing. But then, neither had the various people who had owned it for 50 or so years before he took it over as otherwise it wouldn’t have maintained its character.
Check the original floor – how many thousands of footsteps have landed there? And the dark, solid wooden bar that would be a great cover if there was a shoot-out. When was the last time you saw two stuffed eagles and an armadillo perched on the top of a bar?
Caught in a time warp, nobody wants to alter anything as it works. The furniture, the ambience, and the music could come from an episode of Father Knows Best. Think of the bar notables in Buenos Aires, and get the feel for the ambience. It is contagious and seeps into salsa toe tapping feet.
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By about 19:00 the office workers have left and the people in the neighborhood have slouched into their usual chairs. The music – not an English song on the premises – is not head-banging loud and is so familiar that people often sing along.