Bar Los Galgos
Los Galgos has 3 doors. One opens onto Callao and Recoleta, another onto Lavalle and San Nicolás and the third on the corner of the building is said to open onto neither, forming a kind of no-mans-land between the 2 neighbourhoods. Originally opened in 1930 in a building that has housed the first Singer sewing machine factory in Argentina, and named Los Galgos (The Greyhounds) by its dog-racing owner, it has been in the same family since 1948 when it was purchased by José Ramos. The bar today doesn’t look as though it has changed much in the intervening years, and in fact all the fittings, down to the formica topped tables and the “goose neck” water tap are the originals. The business itself has undergone many changes however, gone are the glory years of the 50s and 60s when the bar was open 24 hours a day and served such artistic luminaries as Aníbal Troilo, Enrique Santos Discépolo, Arturo Frondizi and Oscar Alende (the last two were both wonderfully named Intransigent Party – Alende founded it and Frondizi was President of Argentina from 1958 to 1962).
By the end of the 90s the bar had gone from employing 10 waiters and serving 3,000 coffees a day to 4 staff and less than 200 cups a day in the space of a decade. An article framed on the bar, written in July 2001, outlines the struggles the bar was having at the time in staying open due to the economic crisis. At the time a coffee cost 1 peso, when I visited 11 years later, the same cup cost 10 pesos.
Los Galgos is a fascinating slice of Porteño life that has changed very little its 82 years of existence – it may not be the most lively bar around these days but if you’re in the area and need a break, then it’s worth dropping in and soaking up a little of its history.
Bar Los Galgos: Avenida Callao 501
Subte: Callao, Line B
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.