When it opened in 1915 Retiro Station was one of the finest buildings in South America. Its steel structure was made in Liverpool and shipped to Buenos Aires for assembly. Trains travelling all over the North of Argentina left from its platforms and, as any great station, it had a cafe to match its splendour.
The station, the area as a whole along with the railway lines and trains, is a shadow of its former glory. The cafe however has just reopened after a renovation and provides a glimpse of what this building once represented.
A large, open and quiet space complete with balconies, glass domes and chandeliers is in complete contrast to the chaotic street market outside, clogged with vendors and buses belching black exhaust fumes.
The Cafe itself seems to be a fairly standard affair, with a menu and waiting staff that could be any of the countless establishments along the main shopping avenues, but the restored surroundings are spectacular and a very real reminder of what Buenos Aires once was. Definitely worth a visit and don’t miss the amazing symmetrical marble walls on the way to the toilets.
Cafe Retiro: Retiro Station
Subte: Retiro, Line C
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.