Requiem for the G Café / 14ymedio

Some tree branches have been placed to block the entrance. (14ymedio)
Some tree branches have been placed to block the entrance. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 1 November 2016 — With the same impulse with which many vegetarian restaurants were opened across the country at the beginning of this century, there also arose the concept of a literary cafe, a place to mix culinary consumption and good reading. With reasonable prices and with a clientele of regulars, those places have disappeared without any official announcement to explain their downfall.

The most emblematic of these sites opened its doors in 2005 at the intersection of 23rd Street and Avenue of the Presidents in Vedado and was known as the G Café. It barely differed in design from the previous Tea House that had been very popular in the late nineties. Today, the building shows signs of abandonment, with no commercial activity on one of the most important corners in Havana.

When it opened, the place offered both mojitos and daiquiris, although with the passing of the years it was common to hear the employees say “there isn’t any,” and “we’re all out.” The lack of menu items was sapping the popular site, condemning to closure this joint initiative of the Young Communists Union and the Cuban Book Institute.

If, in the early years, the walls of the G Café displayed drawings and photos by Cuban artists, today they display only dampness and a bad smell. Some tree branches have been placed to block the entrance and the neighbors dream that the site will be turned over to a self-employed entrepreneur or a non-agricultural cooperative to rescue it from the morass it has become and return it to the crowded and appreciated place that it was.