José María Otero

Looney Talk about bars

hat little word, with just three letters, is neither Spanish nor Argentine. It derives from an English word that comes from the Old French «barriere» which means bar or barrier. Then it is something like the British pubs where you drink standing by the counter.

When the first settlers arrived in North America, the taverns had an area where alcoholic drinks were sold separated from the rest of the local by a barrier. In the industrial England appears a new kind of place, the «pub», which comes from the shortening of the word public house and in its origins it meant the center of social life in the workers’ neighborhoods. However, with the passing of time the so-called English pubs had become quite well known (famous for their highest quality beer and because they are the oldest ones in history).

The first ones appeared by the time the Roman conquerors arrived at the island when, for the service for the travelers, they were given a place where to drink beer. Let us remember that the Tortoni was founded in 1858 and its name was preceded by the word which refers to the fruit of the coffee tree. That is to say Café Tortoni instead of Bar Tortoni. In some locals that resist the passing of time and modern updating we still can read the legend «Almacén y despacho de bebidas» (grocery store and liquors), that means they were not called «Almacén y bar» (grocery store and bar).

The use of the word «almacén» is also an invention of ours because it comes from the Arab al-majzan which means storehouse. There goods were stored and even they were sold at wholesale but in Argentina we gave it a different meaning.

In connection with the anglophile origin of the word bar, at the London City (Av. Mayo 590) Julio Cortázar wrote Los Premios; at the Bar Británico Ernesto Sabato imagined the love affair of Martín and Alejandra of Sobre héroes y tumbas. Enrique Santos Discépolo defined our barrooms in “Cafetín de Buenos Aires”: Como una escuela de todas las cosas / ya de muchacho me diste entre asombros: el cigarrillo, la fe en mis sueños y una esperanza de amor. (Like a school for all the things when I was a kid you gave me, among astonishments: the first cigarette, faith in my dreams and a hope for love)

In Madrid, these insignificant little bars that we named «boliches» (we keep on inventing words) are colloquially known as baretos. And lastly, remember that «la chica toma en la barra, berra (screams, in Galician), pidiendo una birra, después se borra, y se hace la burra».

If this is not looney talk, let us call Fidel Pintos to see it.

Or tell him to visit this venue on 3500 Sarmiento Street. And later he can tell me about it.

Sanata Bar

Sanata is an utopian and real bar, real but unreal...
An oneiric space where everything is possible to be...
Or not to be... Sanata... is a unique musical bar,
with a stage for new generations
always with free admittance.
Sanata is an anarchic bar where music,
a varied porteño menu, good wines, drinks and
different beers are combined with the only requisite...
Have a good time!
Sanata Bar is a resto-bar-cafe, we open from Monday to Saturday, with coffee shop and restaurant and in the evenings with resto-bar and live music.
The whole place is decorated by a group of muralists (Ricardo Villar, José Nola, Antonio Giampietro, Alberto Jaime, Sergio Politti), their paintings provide personality to the place that is worthwhile to visit.