Sunny Saturday wandering in the charming Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires, streets lined with art galleries and chic antique emporiums, one would never expect to discover a wine and flower shop with a secret underground bar. Floreria Atlantico is an exquisite gem combining all three ingredients in a rare basement location.Actually, I’ve never before seen this innovative combination. Running late for your dinner party? Step in for the perfect gift of fine wine and a beautiful bouquet of flowers, AND pop in downstairs to the hidden cocktail lounge for a champers or distinctive cocktail while your gifts are scrumptiously packaged.
The silver buckets brimming with fragrant tuberose and lilies are intoxicating, the flower shop is a mere prelude to the tapas treats and complex cocktails downstairs in the hidden bar. Venture down the secret stairway to a little slice of cocktail heaven.
Aline Vargas, Renato Giovannoni and Julian Diaz, owner of the celebrated local restaurant 878, opened Floreria Atlantico in 2013, envisioning a speakeasy style. Replacing an unpopular bar in this gentrified neighborhood, the flower and wine shop was an afterthought, a gift to the locals of Arroyo Street.The neighborhood during the 19th-century has a shipping history which spawned the period immigrant bar theme. Discovering a building that at one time was the most important shipping company of Latin America, was an inspiration. Apparently the man who built it intended it to be the tallest tower at that time, wanting it elevated to watch his boats entering and exiting the Plata River. The river port in Buenos Aires was the main entry point of the immigrant boats arriving from the Atlantic.
The menu consists of five sections of classic cocktails enhanced by the founders’ personal signature. The sections are Spain, Italy, France, England, and Poland. There’s also a sixth section in the menu with criollo cocktails, where they mix selected products that reflect Argentina today. This approach incorporates the dining menu as well, using an old ‘parrilla’ grill over firewood to mix distinctive Spanish, English and Italian cuisine.
Cool, chic and clever!
The bar hours:
– Monday to Friday: from 7 pm to 2 am (last call 1:30)
– Thursday: 7 pm to 3 am (last call 2:30)
– Friday: 7 pm to 4 am (last call 3:30)
– Saturday: 8 pm to 4 am (last call 3:30)
– Sunday: 8pm to 1 am (last call 12:30)
– Holidays: open at 8 pm
The flower and wine shop:
– Open every day except holidays from 10am at end of bar
– open Saturdays from 11 am
– Sundays closed
Arroyo 872, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bar photo by Floreria Atlantico