Confitería del Hotel Castelar
Opened in 1928 close to where the Avenida de Mayo meets the Avenida 9 de Julio, the Hotel Castelar (or Castelar Hotel as they seem to insist on calling it) has a Notable Bar in its lobby, and seemed like a nice spot to stop for a coffee on a chilly June evening.
The bar itself is a grand wooden affair, decorated with a large banner-like Argentinian flag, but the rest of the room is a little too bright, clinical and cold to have any sort of cozy bar feeling. It feels like, well, a hotel, complete with the breakfast buffet tables set up the length of one side of the room.
However, we were visiting on the Día de la Bandera, Argentina’s Flag Day (which perhaps explained the large flag above the bar, thinking about it), and the traditional snack on this day is Hot Chocolate with Churros, which we, of course ordered.
One of the hotel’s main claims to fame is that Spanish poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_Garc%C3%ADa_Lorca stayed there for 6 months in 1933 whilst his play was being performed at the Teatro Avenida next door (nearby Bar Iberia also claims him as a customer), and it’s not hard to imagine that not a great deal has changed since he checked out. From the grand revolving door and large CH which welcome you as you enter to the wooden bar and marble walls, the Confiteria has certainly kept its fittings intact but lacks atmosphere as it’s not really clear where the hotel finishes and the bar starts.
Confiteria del Hotel Castelar: Avenida de Mayo 1152
Subte: Péru, Line A
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.