Saturday, July 2, 2011


Take one old bar, add an ancient piano and one ancient piano player, toss in 1 L steins of cold beer and big plates of sausage and potatoes and you've got a recipe for success, if downtown Lima's Munich Piano Bar is anything to measure by. 

Tonight, being "Friend Day" -a "holiday" invented a couple of years ago by one of the big beer companies-, we decided to go downtown for a stroll and a beer.    After walking from the Plaza de Armas, overlooked by the Presidential Palace, to the Plaza San Martin, we headed to the Munich, where neither Liz nor I had been before.

 Located down a set of stairs off of Calle Belen (also known as Jiron de la Union), and though a barrel-shaped door, Munich has long been a favored hangout for students of the nearby San Marcos and Federico Villareal universities, and for downtown workers.

Tonight, every seat in the place was full, and it took us a few minutes to get a table.   Of course, being in the Munich, we ordered what the Munich is known for: 1 L jugs of beer and the Piqueo Munich (Munich Appetizer), which is a grand plate of salchipapas made with three kinds of wurst.

Munich was founded in 1954 -I think by a German immigrant- and soon established its place in Lima's bohemian night scene, becoming one of the city's classic bars.  Difficult finances led the original owner to despondence and, eventually, to suicide.  His widow tried to run the place for a while but eventually decided to turn it over to the employees, who have run it ever since, and they do seem to do a good job of it.

This evening, business was booming, and a steady stream of people wandered in hoping for a table and showed no sign of slowing when we left around 11 pm.   One can hardly blame them, for despite the booming of a discotheque right next door, the old school atmosphere of the Munich makes for a pretty cool watering hole.

Munich Bar
Jirón de la Unión 1044
Lima (Cercado)

No comments: