Tucked away in Retiro on calle Tres Sargentos, Bar o Bar, or ‘Barbaro’ Bar, was the first of its kind in Buenos Aires. Founded by artist Luis Felipe Noé in 1969, Noé wanted to create a space for his friends to paint, drink and be merry. Along with artists Ernesto Deira, Rómulo Maccio and Jorge de la Vega, Noé formed a group known by critics as ‘La Nueva Figuracion’, a visual art experience that ushered in a bohemian trend in contemporary art. From that attitude, Bar O Bar was born and considered the first “pub” of Buenos Aires.
The bar itself is a labyrinth of hidden spaces, with an upstairs terrace and a basement room, complete with jukebox. “Over the years, people would come to Barbaro and leave their work,” Gomez said. “So the bar is covered in paintings, writings, and sculptures of famous artists and writers of the 1970s.” Every item on the menu was designed with a rich cultural history in mind. Though a bit pricey at $50 plus for an entreé, the exceptional quality of the food makes it worth your while.
Best of all, Barbaro offers a sensational 2-for-1 happy hour special, running from 5-9pm, perfect for after office or to kick start a night out. I had the very traditional but delicious caipiroska with some rabas, one of Barbaro’s specialties. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, there’s always live music. This popular spot is in the center of a tourist zone so expect to wait for a table, but the wait is well worth it.
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