The revolution is here!
Los Barbudos has opened on Smith St, Fitzroy (but don’t we all think of it as Collingwood?) bringing a taste of the rum bars of the Caribbean to Melbourne.
From the Thank You, Come Again group that opened, amongst others, Lily Blacks and Mr Wow’s Emporium (conveniently located upstairs), Los Barbudos takes inspiration from the drinks and food of Cuba. Serving rum based cocktails like Cuba Libre (Free Cuba!), Mojito and the Hemingway Daiquiri, alongside the regular bar culprits.
The name Los Barbudos (the Bearded Ones) comes not from the ‘Northside’ hipster beards found in Fitzroy and Collingwood, but from Fidel Castro’s guerilla army turned baseball team. Castro’s revolutionary army were known as the ‘Barbudos’ for their hirsuite faces, and the length of their beard showed how long they had been serving in the movement. After he seized power in 1959, Castro realised how important baseball was to the social fabric of Cuba and ensured the ongoing success of the Havana Cuba Sugar Kings team by organising fundraising games. A team, mostly made up of members of the ‘Barbudos’, played exhibition games to raise money for the Sugar Kings, leading to the fundraising team being known as ‘Los Barbudos’.
The space goes for a warm, low-lit and vintage feel, with a wooden bar and tables, and framed black and white photographs dotted around the walls, but the best feature is the old TV behind the bar replaying black and white baseball games from the 50s. The open windows at the front let you sip on your cocktail and gaze as the hustle of Smith St passes by.
Opening in August is a permanent food truck, El Paladar, which will take residence behind the bar and serve food to both Los Barbudos and Mr Wow’s Emporium. From the folk behind Chingon and Dr. Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken and Crab Shack (resident at North Melbourne’s Public Bar), the truck will be pumping out bar snacks like spicy chicken wings with rice, crispy fried green plantains, moreish empanadas and their signature Cuban sandwich (a toasted sandwich of spiced pulled pork, cheese and pickles).
Wednesday 5pm – 12am
Thursday 5pm – 12am
Friday 5pm – 1am
Saturday 6pm – 1am
Sunday 6pm – 11pm