Surrounded by fields when first built in 1938, Bar Rojo opened in 1944 named after its owner, Spaniard Fernando Rojo. Before long it became known as the Ocho Esquinas (8 Corners), due to its location in Colegiales on a junction where 3 large avenues cross (I could only see 6 corners, but who’s counting, right?).
The place is small and quiet on the Saturday afternoon that we visit. I’m starting to recognise common elements in the Notable Bars that I’m visiting and at a glance, I can tell that the tables are all originals and the floor and bar have not been changed since opening in the 1940s. A quick chat with the waiter confirms all this (who also tells me that even the coffee cups are over 70 years old, recently a large stock of them was found in the attic), but Ocho Esquinas has one more thing unchanged since its early days which I’d not come across before – the menu.
The Spaniard Rojo, came to Argentina by boat, where he met a German chef whom he invited to work in his new bar when it opened. The chef did so, on the condition that he would be allowed to include 4 German dishes on the menu. Rojo agreed and those four items have remained specialities of the house ever since. They’ve not been added to nor removed, just stayed the way they were. Ranging from Goulash to a classic Pork Shank for two, these are not your average Buenos Aires offerings.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the bar offers a tango evening to accompany their German specialities, and I made a mental note to return to experience it. I immediately like the bar and its atmosphere and the mix of classic Porteño with a German twist certainly makes it stand out from many of its fellow Notable bars.
Ocho Esquinas: Av Forest 1186
Colectivos: 44, 65
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.