Fabled cafe La Biela likely to close permanently

sergio

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"One was well into his seventies, probably close to eighty. Retired a decade ago or so. " This was Anibal. He reminded me of Ed Wynn. Words cannot express! A great waiter, entertaining, a gentleman. Maybe a bit of gossip on the other tables. It was a pleasure to be at his table. Besides great service he left you feeling elevated in that now lost world of a gentleman's gentleman.
All this and more in those halcyon days of 2004 and onward, enough to make a man move lock stock and barrel to be a part of the life life that was here in those times.
I remembered that his hand trembled but he was able to handle the dishes.
 

milanesas

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I think the pandemic has only accelerated the downfall of many of these historic restaurants and cafes. I work in the gastronomy industry here and while I love the nostalgia of bodegones and bares notables, they are stuck in time and in general offer poor quality food and drink and have the mentality that working to improve is unnecessary. Los Galgos, Preferido de Palermo and La Roma are great examples of traditional Porteño restaurants/cafes updating but keeping their soul and booming business wise.
 

sergio

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I think the pandemic has only accelerated the downfall of many of these historic restaurants and cafes. I work in the gastronomy industry here and while I love the nostalgia of bodegones and bares notables, they are stuck in time and in general offer poor quality food and drink and have the mentality that working to improve is unnecessary. Los Galgos, Preferido de Palermo and La Roma are great examples of traditional Porteño restaurants/cafes updating but keeping their soul and booming business wise.

I doubt that La Biela or Edelweiss would be closing if it hadn't been for the pandemic. It's true that when times are good owners are less likely to see the need to improve but now that everything is forced to close ALL establishments are at risk.
 

Ries

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I dont think there is any question that 3 to potentially even 9 or 12 months without income will drive hundreds, if not even thousands, of businesses under. Restaurants are not extremely profitable in the best of times. If you own the space, that helps- but even then, there are fixed expenses, and a need for income.
That said, I would agree that many of the older bars and restaurants have not been keeping up with the times in terms of quality of food and service. Los Galgos is a great example, where everything is GOOD.
I have a friend, however, who runs the bardeviejes instagram account, which celebrates NON-Notable bars- and thru her, I have visited and enjoyed many of these places, which, admittedly, are not gourmet, but have plenty of soul.
And I can enjoy both really high quality food, and a regular tostada, myself.
So I hope that we dont see all of the old places washed away by this high tide.
instagram.com/bardeviejes
 

sergio

Registered
I dont think there is any question that 3 to potentially even 9 or 12 months without income will drive hundreds, if not even thousands, of businesses under. Restaurants are not extremely profitable in the best of times. If you own the space, that helps- but even then, there are fixed expenses, and a need for income.
That said, I would agree that many of the older bars and restaurants have not been keeping up with the times in terms of quality of food and service. Los Galgos is a great example, where everything is GOOD.
I have a friend, however, who runs the bardeviejes instagram account, which celebrates NON-Notable bars- and thru her, I have visited and enjoyed many of these places, which, admittedly, are not gourmet, but have plenty of soul.
And I can enjoy both really high quality food, and a regular tostada, myself.
So I hope that we dont see all of the old places washed away by this high tide.
instagram.com/bardeviejes
Personally I always found the Cafe Doble at La Biela to be excellent, the medialunas satisfactory. I wouldn't think of having a meal there. This custom of cafes turning into restaurants is relatively new. If you want a good meal you go to a proper restaurant. Keeping up with the times? You have to have pop/rock music? La Biela was always packed with people on weekends. Only when the economy hit rock bottom did it decline somewhat. Some of us want tradition, There is room for that.
 

garryl

Registered
La Biela has great freshly made medialunas and chocolate mousse cake. The outdoor tables with locals and tourists can be nice and romantic.
I am happy just to see the people who are sitting outside. The food is probably average and the price is probably not cheap. There are always a few old dudes who live on Quitnana streets hanging out there, dirty old men.
Many waiters made a career working there, it's really a shame.
i doubt that place will be closed for too long, it's such a prime location. Someone else probably can take over with better food, Actually that whole
row has died one by one. 15 years ago, all restaurants in that row were good. Slowly they close the door one by one. The country is really sinking.
The best booming time was after the 2001 crash, a few years after that, there are many things are going on the city. Now the price is high relatively, the city is not that safe, locals probably have a lot more cash in their pockets than 2001, the situation is very different and it's not super attractive to western tourists like 20 years ago. And plus the border is closed, only makes things worse.
 
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Joe

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I remember sitting outdoors at La Biella enjoying a coffee with Garryl when James Carville saunters by in the grubbiest running shorts imaginable. I was expecting to see Robert Duval but had to settle for James Carville... Maybe he was here advising Cristina on her election run against Mauricio.
 

Rich One

Registered
La Biela has great freshly made medialunas and chocolate mousse cake. The outdoor tables with locals and tourists can be nice and romantic.
I am happy just to see the people who are sitting outside. The food is probably average and the price is probably not cheap. There are always a few old dudes who live on Quitnana streets hanging out there, dirty old men.
Many waiters made a career working there, it's really a shame.
i doubt that place will be closed for too long, it's such a prime location. Someone else probably can take over with better food, Actually that whole
row has died one by one. 15 years ago, all restaurants in that row were good. Slowly they close the door one by one. The country is really sinking.
The best booming time was after the 2001 crash, a few years after that, there are many things are going on the city. Now the price is high relatively, the city is not that safe, locals probably have a lot more cash in their pockets than 2001, the situation is very different and it's not super attractive to western tourists like 20 years ago. And plus the border is closed, only makes things worse.
Times have changed , Dirty Old Men like Borges and EL Zorro used to hang out there, later mostly "tourists".
 

artisans

Registered
Times have changed , Dirty Old Men like Borges and EL Zorro used to hang out there, later mostly "tourists".
It was still an entertaining place and an education in negotiating a cortado with surly waiters that could ignore you to the point of exasperation. Still drew a crowd of interesting looking people. One of my last visits, sitting outside in the middle of the sea of tables I looked down and there was a condom packet at the base of the tree, reminding me of other days when Black and a host of boliches were just around the corners and a part of the lively Recoleta life.
 
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