It is feasible to give an account of the city life through the history of its bars. In the bars is where the identity of Buenos Aires lies. Each bar has its own profile and bears its own load of remembrances and memories. They imply a past full of political rebellions, intellectual clarity, everlasting nights of tango, happenings, communion and disagreements among porteños.
The bars used to be those cafés where the habitués of the area would stop by; where they would play billiards, cards or dice; the ones in downtown that would open all night, or those remembered for the stunning women seen in them.
National celebrities, either politicians, artists, intellectuals or sports people have stopped by. In every bar personal exploits are told; a piece of History, comradeship and unforgettable meetings are held there.
Rituals are still practiced: billiards players still gather to play; coffee is still the beginning of a shared ceremony, and some guitars are played all night long in these old structures.
Only a few still resist modernity’s everyday strikes, keeping their customs among the signs of the past. They are the “Bares Notables” (remarkable Bars), declared Cultural Heritage by the city authorities, due to their historical and cultural relevance, as well as their architectural features and age.
Each has its own characteristics: billiards, clubs or small bars with long counters that keep the white cups, the transparent sugar bowls and the sandwich trays with bell-like tops. On the other hand, a few sophisticated cafés keep signs of past times, like stained glass ormarble structures, original furniture, and objects from the Belle Époque.
Each has stories to tell about real events or myths; they even hatch forthcoming mysteries... in the midst of soccer talks, discussions on tango or on chicks, yesterday and today’s neighbourhood, between Borges and Gardel, there is always a spare table awaiting for you.