The Dos Hermanos Bar-Restaurant
By: Ciro Bianchi Roos, Photos Alejandro Gortázar
In 1894, the González brothers from Granada, Spain constructed a building on the port road running in front of the Havana harbour and opened their Dos Hermanos or “Two Brothers” bar and restaurant. This beautiful wooden bar soon became popular with locals and visitors alike. The latter included Graham Greene, who was a regular customer during his numerous visits to Havana.
In the 1930's the famous Spanish poet García Lorca, who hailed from the same home town as the brothers a so visited. More than one Cuban film has used it as a location for some of its scenes.
In the famous Cuban novel by Leonardo Padura, Fiebre de Caballos or Horse Fever, there is a long passage where the young protagonist sits in the bar receiving wisdom on growing up while surrounded by drunks and interesting women.
In its heyday the bar was main y frequented by merchant marine sail ors docked at port and, during prohibition, by many Americans in eluding Meyer Lansky. After the Cuban Revolution, the bar was closed for many years until Habaguanex renovated this famous watering ho e in 1994.
If you ask anyone from Havana to mention some of the notable bars in the city, they will surely mention this bar-restaurant. Just a few doors down from the Museum of Rum, the Dos Hermanos has been a feature of the Port of Havana for more than a century.
A visit to the bar nowadays still provides the smells of a trip at sea and the ambience of a trip back into the time of literary greats, drunken sailors, and gangsters. The entire bar is made of precious hardwoods and its swinging doors give the pace additional character.
The menu, of course, contains many dishes including the a ways delicious Cuban sandwich but the chef recommends the grilled specials featuring pork, beef and chicken stuffed with ham, cheese and olives.
If you are around the port in O d Havana, don’t think twice about making a stop at the Dos Hermanos. You will enjoy the experience of visiting a pace fu of history and don’t forget to toast Meyer, Graham, and García.
The Dos Hermanos Cocktail
In the cocktail shaker combine:
6 ounces of pineapple juice
1 ounce of red Curaçao
1/2 ounces of white rum
Shake and serve in a tall glass garnished with pineapple