Fabled cafe La Biela likely to close permanently

sergio

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IMHO, Florida's Confiteria Richmond was the best. Great food, classy decor, career waiters, comfortable armchairs, good lighting, no music. The perfect place to go with friends, or a book, and spend three hours enjoying the experience.

Sadly, it closed its doors in 2011, and was turned into a cheap-looking sports equipment store. More's the pity.
It was one of my favorites. The restaurant part however was only in the last years. Before that it was a traditional confiteria. Waiters were professional, as you say, just as they are (were) in La Biela. I wonder what happened to all the beautiful furniture in the Richmond. By the way, the Richmond is mentioned in Graham Greene's novel The Honourary Consul, set in Argentina.
 

on the brink

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It was one of my favorites. The restaurant part however was only in the last years. Before that it was a traditional confiteria. Waiters were professional, as you say, just as they are (were) in La Biela. I wonder what happened to all the beautiful furniture in the Richmond. By the way, the Richmond is mentioned in Graham Greene's novel The Honourary Consul, set in Argentina.
It had the best "locatellis" in town: sacramentos stuffed with turkey breast.

I read that all the furniture vanished overnight - someone backed up a truck against the closed doors and stole the lot.
 

sergio

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Tortoni is - or was - a mess. It had long ago turned tourist, coasting on an alleged mythical past. It was sorely in need of restoration, dark and gloomy. La Biela served loads of locals. I met my neighbors there all the time, I think the large number of tourists (a lot of Brazilians) came during holiday season. You can have Havana-- irritating music, uncomfortable seats. La Biela is large, very comfortable, cafe Doble is excellent. Medialunas better than most places (this is Argentina, not Paris) and the waiters leave you alone. You can stay all day if you want and nobody will bother you. It's irreplaceable. If I add up all the hours I've spent there over the past thirty years it has to come to many weeks! Sorry others didn't value it. Its was a part of the Buenos Aires before globalization ruined everything.
 

Redpossum

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Tortoni is - or was - a mess. It had long ago turned tourist, coasting on an alleged mythical past. It was sorely in need of restoration, dark and gloomy. La Biela served loads of locals. I met my neighbors there all the time, I think the large number of tourists (a lot of Brazilians) came during holiday season. You can have Havana-- irritating music, uncomfortable seats. La Biela is large, very comfortable, cafe Doble is excellent. Medialunas better than most places (this is Argentina, not Paris) and the waiters leave you alone. You can stay all day if you want and nobody will bother you. It's irreplaceable. If I add up all the hours I've spent there over the past thirty years it has to come to many weeks! Sorry others didn't value it. It was a part of the Buenos Aires before globalization ruined everything.
I hear you loud and clear about globalization! My first year here, I was in that big 3-level shopping across from the main gate to the Cementerio de la Recoleta, and there were eight (8) McDonald's; six McD's junior, and 2 full-size ones. It was a Road to Damascus moment for me. I finally understood the meaning of the phrase "cultural imperialism". It's not some abstract concept, it's McDonald's, Starbucks, and iPhones.
 

sergio

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I hear you loud and clear about globalization! My first year here, I was in that big 3-level shopping across from the main gate to the Cementerio de la Recoleta, and there were eight (8) McDonald's; six McD's junior, and 2 full-size ones. It was a Road to Damascus moment for me. I finally understood the meaning of the phrase "cultural imperialism". It's not some abstract concept, it's McDonald's, Starbucks, and iPhones.
Precisely. That shopping was disgusting but Argentines were programmed to like it. Everything traditional started to vanish. I remember the big old fashioned cinemas here. All gone. Also there used to be lots of art cinemas. Gone. Going to the cinema used to be a big social event. You'd meet for coffee first, the see the film and after have dinner.
 

artisans

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While we're mourning the passings, I'm still crying into my revuelto gramajo over Munich which was next door to La Biela and closed over a year ago. A classic with best waiters, white table cloth, classic Argentina dishes, a Hemingway kind of place with grand heads mounted on the wood panelled walls. If you went often and warranted the merit a waiter would adopt you and cater you like family.
 

on the brink

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Ahhhh.....the Munich, with its ageless waiters and paneled booths....! We used to lunch there at least once a week - the smoked pork chops were out of this world. The waiters remembered what we ordered last, and how we wanted our salad dressed.

There used to be lots of Munichs in Buenos Aires, and they all vanished one by one. There were quite a few in Belgrano, one in a gorgeous old building in Costanera Sud, and many others in the Northern suburbs. The one in San Isidro is now a parking lot.

There were many Munichs, but that one was THE MUNICH. It is a real loss.
 

on the brink

Registered
I remember the big old fashioned cinemas here. All gone. Also there used to be lots of art cinemas. Gone. Going to the cinema used to be a big social event. You'd meet for coffee first, the see the film and after have dinner.
How about calle Lavalle? Blocks and blocks of movie theaters, with some huge ones in Corrientes and Cerrito. There must have been close to thirty cinemas and theaters in a three block radius. It was exciting to go downtown to the movies on Saturday nights. There were some suburban movies theaters, too, but nothing beat the excitement of going to Lavalle.
 

sergio

Registered
While we're mourning the passings, I'm still crying into my revuelto gramajo over Munich which was next door to La Biela and closed over a year ago. A classic with best waiters, white table cloth, classic Argentina dishes, a Hemingway kind of place with grand heads mounted on the wood panelled walls. If you went often and warranted the merit a waiter would adopt you and cater you like family.
Absolutely. They had two superb dishes: Suprema Suiza which had the richest and most delicious cheese sauce I've ever had and Lenguado Maitre d'hotel con alcaparras - very fresh fish in butter, absolutely delicious. I knew the waiters for over thirty years. One was well into his seventies, probably close to eighty. Retired a decade ago or so. Another knew me from another restaurant that had closed. Another great benefit of this classic restaurant was the ABSENCE OF MUSIC! What a blessing. You could actually have a conversation in peace.
 
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