Rio Sur is the most recent mall to open on the upmarket stretch of Avenida Poblado known as “Milla de Oro” (Golden Mile).
The city’s nightlife is constantly evolving, and an area that was hot one year may soon fall out of favor by the next.
Such has been the case with La Strada mall and Barrio Colombia, both hotspots of clubbing and partying from 2009-11. I credit Rio Sur with hastening their declines.
Before the building had even been completed, some of its biggest nightlife tenants had already moved into the 7th Floor to entertain the masses. The first three venues listed below are all managed under a single company called D’Group.
Kukaramakara made the jump from its original location in Barrio Colombia to the 7th Floor of Rio Sur. The new space is smaller, but more modern, and live cover bands continue to rock the crowds with Latin favorites until 4 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night. Cover: 20,000 peso ($10) or 25,000 pesos ($12) for entry into both Kukaramakara and Sixttina.
Sixttina offers patrons a mix of reggaeton and electronica, often hosting A-list reggaeton performers like J Balvin. Cover: 20,000 peso ($10) or 25,000 pesos ($12) for entry into both Kukaramakara and Sixttina.
Delaire Sky Lounge is one of the few rooftop bars in Poblado, and they’ve managed to pair terrific views with delicious thin-crust pizzas and fancy cocktails. It’s the perfect place for dinner or pre-clubbing drinks. No cover.
The Attic is another 7th Floor bar, styled after a NYC loft. Expect Top 40 music spun by the DJ, with an increasing amount of reggaeton as the night wears on. Those who prefer not to go into a big club, or want to avoid paying a cover charge, should go here.
Mixology is a theme bar with specialized drinks, some of which feature liquid nitrogen. No cover.
The 7th Floor may be dominated by nightlife, but there additional options further down.
Sinko Bar, on the 3rd Floor, is a popular happy hour spot for the after-work crowd. An outdoor patio, comfortable leather couches and a restaurant with a large menu and decent dishes make it an weekday or appealing early-evening option.
Drop down to the ground floor and you’ve got La Bolsa Disco Bar. By day is Wall Street-themed restaurant and by night it comes alive as a bar and club which hosts live bands.
In addition to Delaire, Sinko and La Bolsa, all which double as bars and lounges, there are an increasing number of restaurants which have opened on the ground floor.
J & C Delicias, the chain of Colombian arepa restaurants, has a prominent location near the Avenida Poblado entrance. Further inside, you’ll find Cheo Parilla, Tarambana for tapas, and restaurants specializing in Italian and Peruvian cuisine.
Unlike the bars and restaurants, the arrival of retail shops has taken longer.
Slowly but surely, the middle floors continue to fill their available space with women’s boutique clothing stores, salons and even El Garage Barber Shop for the guys.
Rio Sur offers shopping, yes, but it’s nothing on the scale of Santafé or Oviedo.
The 6th Floor belongs to a Bodytech gym, but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill Bodytech. This is a premium location that charges higher fees than any other in the city.
In return, members receive special services. For example, it’s open longer hours than the other locations Monday through Thursday, from 4 a.m. to midnight. It’s also open 365 days a year.
Pro’s – Rio Sur houses some of the most popular clubs in Medellín today, plus one of the best rooftop bars. Nightlife is the main reason to go.
Con’s – For shopping, there are only a handful of boutique stores aimed at women. Men looking to do clothing shopping will be better served by Santafé a few blocks away.
How to Get There – Located on Avenida Poblado, it’s a 10-minute walk from Parque Poblado, 20 minutes (downhill) from Parque Lleras, or 20 to 30 minutes (uphill) from the Poblado metro station. It’s along regular bus routes, and all the taxi drivers should know it.