It is no secret the corona-crisis is cutting hard & deep into the culinary scene worldwide. Restaurants and bars had/have to stay closed. In my country Argentina & my city, Buenos Aires, there is no budget to rescue the ailing culinary sector. The damage here in Buenos Aires is unprecedented.
Delivery & Take Away – the only activity allowed under quarantine for those restaurants, bars & bodegones who decided to stay open, – is barely a means to make ends meet. The ‘lucky’ ones make 20% at most of what they would earn before lockdown. Yet, charges remain due. I speak of first hand experience. My hotel has been closed since March 20th 2020 and I have had no paying guests since then. But my bills for electricity, gas, water, internet, insurance, … keep on coming.
Some bars and restaurants in my favorite city are considered icons, classics. Unfortunately even these classics are victims of the crisis and many have closed permanently.
Here is a sad list of the city classics that are no longer. The number keeps on growing. What will be left of the once so rich porteño culinary scene remains to be seen.
The following text is the English translation of the article as it first appeared in Infobae.
Below the title you’ll find a link to the original article in Spanish.
“El Final de Pippo” ( The End of Pippo )
link to the original article : “El Final de Pippo : cerró el clásico restaurante de la gastronomía porteña tras 83 años de historia”
The End of an Era
The end of Pippo: the classic restaurant of Buenos Aires gastronomy closed after 83 years of history.
Founded in 1937, Pippo became the meeting place for personalities of culture, music and entertainment. However, Pippo was unable to survive five long months of quarantine. 25 employees are left without a job. Goodbye to a part of the traditional Buenos Aires food. The end of the era of vermicellis with tuco and pesto.
The pandemic dragged the gastronomic sector into the abyss. Take away and delivery represent a miniscule percentage, hardly a placebo to withstand the quarantine.
In this resounding fall of the sector, a new victim: Pippo, an illustrious restaurant in the metropolitan landscape. Founded in 1937 when Corrientes Avenue was double-handed, the president was Agustín Pedro Justo and the Obelisk was barely a year old. Soon it became “a Buenos Aires tradition”, as they presumed on their social networks.
The restaurant was considered a living spectator of the country’s history. End of august 2020, Pippo’s owners informed their 25 employees that they will no longer open. The landlines won’t ring again and WhatsApp messages to order food will remain unanswered. On their social networks, the activity stopped several days earlier. The only thing to stay is the plea of its regular customers.
Soon after the news, Pippo became a trend on Twitter, where famous and non-famous people were spreading the news with a clear nostalgia bias.
Pippo was first located in the Nuevo Mercado Modelo, where the Paseo La Plaza is currently located, on Sarmiento, between Montevideo and Rodríguez Peña streets. Four years later, in 1941, Pippo moved to establish a gastronomic center around Montevideo 341 that used to summon stars of the varieté and Buenos Aires entertainment.
The restaurant stayed up late because of demand: it would close at 6 in the morning to reopen shortly after noon the next day.
Alberto Olmedo, Jorge Porcel, Tato Bores, Horacio Acavallo, Ringo Bonavena, el Mono Gatica, El Loco Gatti, Palito Ortega, Raúl Portal or the most current ones, Gastón Gaudio, Andy Kusnetzoff, Marcelo Tinelli. His distinguished guests deified him.
Pippo transformed into a place of worship with a sacred respect for traditions: wines served in penguins ( pingüinos ) and classic flavors passed through generations. Those who say farewell to Pippo also mourn the vermicelli with tuco and pesto, the house dish par excellence.
“Can you imagine for a moment what Buenos Aires was like, what these same streets were like in 1937?
“And when it comes to eating, people queuing at Pippo to enjoy their famous pasta and grill? A paper to scribble down an idea, a phone, a project, a business, or a dream. As at home, with homemade pasta, a good wine and the best Argentine meat “
The words with which they were described today hurt: “As time went on, Pippo continued to maintain its identity, despite the years, without the essentials changing. The quality of the raw material, the abundance and the own elaboration of the pasta. Eating homemade food, in an intimate, informal and complicit atmosphere, characteristics that were part of the Pippo seal “.
The BAE Negocios portal recalled an anecdote current President Alberto Fernández shared during an interview with Página 12. ” At 16, while having lunch with his father at Pippo, they were both shocked to see a man eating noodles with his hand. Luis Alberto Spinetta was sitting next to Pappo, the man who eating with his hands.
“I got up to greet them because I knew them from the recitals. Pappo told me ‘what are you doing, Alberto’ and I went back to the table, “revealed the president, who later told his father that they were his friends.
Martín Caparrós narrated an anecdote on his Twitter account: “They tell me that Pippo, one of the most classic restaurants in Buenos Aires, is about to close. Hopefully not. In 1986 I presented my first novel at Pippo’s :’Do not watch your dead’, in De la Flor “. His Twitter comment was accompanied by a black and white photo that reunited him with his youth and with Beatriz Sarlo, Debora Yanover and local employees.
Early Signs of Trouble
Pippo had had a first seizure in 2015. That year a bankruptcy petition was heard from the owners. The legendary restaurant weathered bankruptcy with other owners. The firm had already expanded into other businesses with the same name in downtown Buenos Aires. A second Pippo was opened in the premises adjacent to Montevideo 341, which ended up merging with the original.
In 1967 the third Pippo was founded and the only one that still stands today: it survives in Paraná 356, with a more extensive menu of meat and pasta. There was also a fourth Pippo, located in Callao and Santa Fe, but it closed its doors in 2007.
“Pippo” turned 83, last 2nd of June. That day, in the midst of a pandemic, they celebrated the anniversary with a heartfelt message on their social networks.
“Pippo is the vermicelli, the tuco and pesto, a good cut on the grill, the paper tablecloths, the place for the first date, the place to get together with friends, the lunch place, the work break. (…)
In these difficult times we want to value the possibility of work more than ever and our wish is that it never be lacking. That whoever has the illusion of doing their business can bet and watch it grow and become part of someone’s story, because that’s also Pippo, a little bit of everyone’s story. “
Another post made possible thanks to the support of WealthyAffiliates