Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where Did Hemingway Drink in Havana? Part 2

     La Bodeguita del Medio was Papa's favorite place for Mojitos, and another of the well known restaurant / bars in Old Havana in the 40's and 50's.   La Bodeguita del Medio or Bodega in the Middle, was first opened in 1942 by Angel Martinez.   He sold Cuban products and from time to time would serve dinner at the "Casa Martinez".    By 1949, the food and drinks made it the center of Havana's cultural aficionados.     The bodega had a bohemian charm that attracted writers, poets, choreographers, musicians, and journalists.    Felito Ayon, one of the patrons, often referred to the location as "La Bodeguita del Medio, and on April 26, 1950 the name was adopted and as they say the rest is history.

     Many of the famous regulars at La Bodeguita del Medio were, Nat King Cole, Marlene Dietrich, and of course Ernest Hemingway.    The famous handwritten  acclamation of the La Bodeguita del Medio Mojitos is still on the wall behind the bar today.   

     In September of 1997, a bomb exploded in the Bodeguita del Medio, Hotel Copacabana, Triton Hotel, and the Chateau Miramar Hotel as part of a bombing campaign against tourists.   The tourist were what was fueling the economical recovery for the Castro led government and the opposition was determined to stop it.    Just moments before the blast the bartender was asked to pose with Ernesto Cruz Leon, the Salvadorian mercenary convicted of the bombing.  

     Today La Bodeguita del Medio is in full operation and the place is teeming with tourists and locals as well.   I thoroughly enjoy the port apps and mojito there and was able to writ my name on the wall along with the thousands of others already there.   This is a must see if you ever make Havana.  ;o)