Thursday, November 18, 2021

Del Bar del Hotel Camagüey, en el año 1928

"Decidedly, if you go to Camagüey, I recommend that about 6 p.m. you approach José Fernández, the picturesque bartender at the Camagüey Hotel (it is said that twice playfully he shot obstreperous customers, but was released without trial on representations by the American colony that he was the only good bartender in town) and whisper in José's ear the name of one of the foregoing persons. If he points to where he is sitting, have not the slightest hesitation in going over and introducing yourself (if you are the sort of man who will buy his share). Set up a round for me.

The Camagüey Bar in those days was a place where things happened. It was the custom for the surrounding ranchers, instead of hitching their ponies outside, to ride them into the bar, along which they would range, drinking from the saddle. Every so often the bartender would object and be shot, but this became such a frequent occurrence that Sir William Van Horne called a halt. "Boys," he said, "the next time my bartender is shot I'll close the bar!" The threat was enough. Later on the present bartender distinguished himself (with reason and excuse) as aforesaid.

Colonel Cushman Rice, who has a ranch east of town, tells of a horse he had that was trained to put his feet on the Camagüey Bar and drink a bottle of whiskey at a gulp, but this may be only another of the Colonel's stories."

(Basil Woon. "When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba." 1928)

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