When Juan Pablo Gomez, whom I’ve interviewed before about The Banana Splitter parties, was telling me about his new bar project, he kept insisting that he wanted an iconic bar.
“I want people to come to Medellín and think that they have to come to Chiquita,” He said. This was all before the bar actually opened, in late October. Now, weeks after the bar’s grand opening, it’s definitely getting the attention it deserves.
Barchiquita is a cocktail bar, it has been open for about two months, on via primavera in Poblado. It’s a small place, but you can’t miss it when you walk by it. With large swans by the entrance, some outdoor seating and pink lighting in the interior, it speaks out to the street: “Look at me!”
I’ve been in a few times, including once before it opened, while the large candy-like Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling were still being applied one-by-one. I got a tour from Juan Pablo, who took me table by table explaining to me the concept behind every piece. Everything had been thought out.
When I returned after opening night, it was a whole new experience. Each table glowed light on the faces of those sitting at it, like an arcade. Every picture taken inside had an identity, and plenty of people were taking them, pink smiles in front of fur walls, where else could you be but Chiquita?
The Story Behind Barchiquita
Barchiquita is the home of eccentric, world traveling, diva-goddess Chiquita, the character upon which the whole place is built. Barchiquita is a museum of experiences and a collection of memories from her travels and her life. It’s a kitsch space covered in patterns and fur, as well as plastic and pastels, something to touch and see everywhere you look.
However, it’s a different experience than other bars that attempt to overwhelm you with a variety of random objects in every corner. Here, every object has a story; they’re all connected to Chiquita.
Sit at the bar and you’ll find before your eyes bubbles filled with tiny souvenirs from the places she has graced with her presence. At every table you’ll find an experience of hers, from her lavish sexualized Kim-K table, to Barbie & Ken, Under the Sea, Anatomy Table, to the most popular table in the house, the one placed right in front of the immense faux fur heart. In the near future, Chiquita will be greeting people at the door, showing them in, hosting them in their house.
Chiquita is both extravagant and romantic, she cherishes every single one of her experiences, putting them on a pedestal for her visitors, and also sexualizes and entices her guests. Just check out the women’s bathroom, which during construction I was able to observe with the 3-D glasses Chiquita so generously provides. Yes, wall-to-wall nude men galore. The 3-D glasses definitely come in handy, so enjoy. The men’s bathroom is no joke either. With a strobe light and psychedelic wallpaper, it’s begging for a picture.
You’ll usually find the owners hanging around, taking care of business, as well as their spunky staff. Take a seat at the bar and chat up Williams, the house flair bartender, a man-bunned, jolly British fellow who is happy to whip up a cocktail for you. Cocktails run at about 20,000 COP a pop, and there are a few food options for sharing at the table as well.
Music Nights at Barchiquita
Barchiquita has a theme and a rhythm for every night. Chiquita loves dancing to all sorts of genres, so join them Wed-Saturday! Their DJs are a blast and each night has a rhythm you can pregame to.
- Wednesday: Old School “ironing music” (called this because it’s music our moms would iron clothes to)
- Thursday: Perreo- Reggaeton Night
- Friday: Pop & Disco Night
- Saturday: House
Having been around for just a few months, it already has great traction among those who gather in Poblado to get their party on. It has a very particular identity as it is, and knowing Juan Pablo, it’s only going to improve and get more and more unique as time goes on.
Maybe it’s not the iconic bar that he intended just yet, but I think it will be a must-see in no time.