Happy Hour remains foreign in most places in Medellín. But as more and more expats move here, we’re slowly seeing a change.
They might not use that term here, but more and more places are offering drink specials to attract clientele, and it makes sense, because liquor is what makes money.
There are several reasons to look for these specials, the biggest one next month being the World Cup.
Colombia has the No. 4 team on the planet and a lot of people who don’t make the trip to Brazil are going to be filling the city’s sports bars to support La Selección.
The first game is at 11 a.m. on June 14, against Greece.
But there are other places to go as well, places with a different atmosphere, whether it’s wine tasting or unwinding after a long day of work or sightseeing.
Now that Dave and I don’t go out as much as we used to, we’re hoping you will flood this post with comments about your favorite places because new places are popping up in Medellín all the time, so much so that we can’t keep up, hence the reason we are hiring more writers.
Let’s start with these.
Calle 33 #76-124, Laureles
If I’m watching football, and by that I mean soccer, I watching it here.
My friends and I went recently, for the Champions League final between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, which was great — other than how the game ended — because there were two big projector screens, something that will surely enhance the viewing experience during the World Cup.
We ordered a combo, 50 wings, three sauces, four sodas and a huge tray of potatoes, celery and carrots, all for 104,900 pesos (about $55), or 119,900 pesos (about $65) if we wanted a pitcher of 3 Cordilleras beer with our food.
Because it was Saturday, I also could have taken advantage of the 2-for-1 margaritas and martinis, but I didn’t because I had to work later.
You can’t go wrong on Wednesdays either, when there are 2-for-1 pitchers, or Thursdays and Fridays, when there are 2-for-1 beers.
You have so many options, there is no excuse for not stopping by Vértigo.
Carrera 37 #8A-60, Poblado
Aguardiente still has a stranglehold on the drinking culture here, but wine is starting to gain some traction.
The owners of Amoretti want to facilitate this with their Wednesday wine tasting events.
They bring in wine from Argentina and Chile, but they’re considering more imports from France, Italy and South Africa. Luisa, one of the owners, is finishing wine school and they will decide shortly thereafter.
The menu looks great there too, no doubt the result of Luisa and her business partner Estefania attending culinary school in Buenos Aires.
I went to the second-ever wine tasting event there and it was proof that there are more and more paisas looking to whet their palates with wine instead of Guaro. The place was nearly full when my friends and I left.
At each event they plan to offer a couple of wines with discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent, as well as free samples if you order food.
Funny note of the night: I’m sitting there, getting some work done before it starts, when my friend Mike messages me after I had suggested he join me.
“Not sure I’m dressed for something like that,” he said.
“Bro, I’m rocking a tank top, camo shorts and tennis shoes,” I told him.
“I’ll be there right after work,” he said.
We were happy we went and agreed that next time, we would dress nicer. Probably.
Carrera 35 #8A-11, Poblado
The popular Irish pub is undergoing major changes, something you might read about in the future should all plans come to fruition.
Today we’ll tell you have what has been implemented, and those are the drink specials.
Every Monday through Wednesday, you can get 2-for-1 Cuba Libres, 2-for-1 Vodka Cokes, and a free shot of Aguardiente for each person in a group of five or more.
On Thursdays, it’s bar games night and while the Cube Libres and Vodka Cokes are not on special, the free shot of Guaro stands if you’re group meets the minimum.
Anyone drinking while partaking in beer pong, darts, flip cup or foosball will get a gulp of the Megalibre, a Cuba Libre in a giant jug.
When people used to ask me what they can do for fun at night earlier in the week, I’d shrug my shoulders or say, “You could go here, but…”
I don’t do that anymore.
Carrera 36 #10-49, Poblado
I never thought a hostel bar would make the list, but the Tiger Paw makes a convincing argument, the reason it’s one of the best hostels in the city.
Under new ownership again, the Texan that took over wants to do things big, the way only Texas can.
During the World Cup, they’ll have the projector screen ready, along with three TVs.
Every night there is a happy hour between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., when you can get two drinks for the price of one, including 3 Cordilleras, the tasty beer from the brewery in Barrio Colombia.
It’s a good place to do some pre-gaming before you head out to the other bars.
Now go get a drink.
Calle 9A #37-40, Poblado
This place has done one of the most brilliant marketing campaigns in all of Medellín.
The place uses drink specials like 3-for-1 cocktails and 2-for-1 national beers to fill the tables overlooking Parque Lleras, something the food alone won’t do, because let’s face it, the food isn’t great, unlike Royal Thai, the only place I know of in this city that’s worthy of having Thai in the title.
So these drinks…
You’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll be overlooking the park as well.
If you’re with a group of friends and want a great deal, this might be your place.