Foreign owned bars and restaurants


Apr 13, 2007
It always wonders me that there are very few foreign owned bars or restaurants. It seems to me you should be able to get some money.
In most other cities with many foreigners I always see many foreigners setting up a business but I hardly see this in BA
Eventhough the night-life since 2005 is a lot worse there is still some night-life left. Even on a sunday, monday or tuesday I would guess there are a couple of thousand people going out in BA. Nightlife usally starts wednesday and runs untill saturday
If you have a good bar/restaurant you should be able to charge in dollars but most of your cost are in pesos.
The only potiental risks I see are, killing inflation rates, corruption, potential extorsions by criminals and ever raising rents. But most of them can be reduced by good business plan
Has somebody here some experience with running or starting a bar/restaurant?
P.S. I would think there are very few foreign owned hotels, hostels or B and B´s but I can´t really judge that.
There is a successful cafe called Josefina located at the corner of Guido/Talcahuano and Juncal in Recoleta that is owned by a German. Several young Americans are running a fast food place on Lavalle that has had a lot of international press.
And two guys who visited our dinners have opened a new indian restaurant recently:
I would think Alamo is also foreign-owned but it seems very little for a city with so much foreigners living there.
In Las Canitas there is also a Dutch bar, named Van Koning, but that bar was founded a long time ago. So I would not really consider it foreign
The Shamrock is owned by am irish family- that came to Argentina over 10/15 years ago.
There was a Tea house called "The English rose" in Belgrano owned by an english woman but it closed down afetr a year or so.... There is a juice bar called "Pura vida" that is owned by an american... There are probably others, but sometimes one doesn´t know who the place is owned by...
It is quite a recent phenomenon, that expats are coming to live by themselves (not sent here by companies or governments) and set up business here... it has been happening more often only the last couple of years, after the devaluation and the recovery after the crisis....
so I guess the phenomenon is still quite new, but expats are staring their own businesses here.... There´s a cookie manufacturing guy who´s doing quite well, a lot of expats are in real-estate, also some run bed &breakfast´s, boutique hotels, hostels, other offer computer/programming or service business catering to foriegn clients....
But setting up a bar or restaurant osunds like a good idea, one would think market research would be the key to selecting the right kind of bar, in the right barrio and attract the right crowd so as to make a good business....
I think it´s also quite new for foreigners to go to developing or less developed countries for a sabatical or a change of scenery. In my mind it really took off for 5 to 10 years ago, before it was rare.
I know many places where foreigners live and I notice that there are more bars and restaurants owned by foreigners. In BA it seems to me it´s a lot less.
There are foreigners who are setting up other type of businesses like real-estate agencies, call centres, software businesses or language schools but I doubt they will stay. I can´t see most of them staying for the next 3 to 5 years. I think they basically live off the bubble and leave as soon as things go tough.
I know an American who set up an language school and he did everything by the book and he left after 18 months or so because he didn´t want or could not pay to renew his permit. It seems to me this will happen a lot.
P.S. I am talking offcourse of people who run a business, I could be a silent partner from a bar, living somewhere else and without anybody finding out I own that bar. But I talk about ex-pats who open a business in BA
Dan Perlan, a US Citizen owns Casa Saltshaker, a very successful and intersting "closed door restaurant".