I guess this is the upside of the gentrification of the Centro Historico. At least, that’s how I’m interpreting the opening of the Marrakech Salon, a great bar located on Republica de Cuba between the Viena and La Perla, both famous local gay bars.
This place was founded by a couple of guys who also own two restaurants known for their comida corrida, one behind the Museo de San Ildefonso and the other one on Gante street, also in the Centro Historico. Both restaurants are characterized by their peculiar decorations that are reminiscent of old Mexican kitchens, but infused with an extremely gay aesthetic: the paintings hanging on the wall are like Tom of Finland drawings, but in bright colors.
It is worth mentioning that Marrakech Salón is different from its neighbors because it doesn’t offer the drag shows that Viena and La Perla boast as their main attractions. Instead, there is a juke box with a large variety of music, from disco music to reggaeton, both in English and Spanish. The place is spacious enough to dance, bathrooms are clean and there is a smoking area upstairs. The beer is cheap (25 pesos or 2.5 dollars) and the best brands are served; also cocktails are part of the menu. Drinks come with peanuts or habas con chile as a botana (snack).
Of course, machas will feel welcome here, along with their friends coming from abroad. Although it’s a gay bar, there always seem to be a good mix of queer women in the crowd. An artsy, hipster kind of crowd mixed with veteran gays and young lesbians looking for a place to have fun shape the landscape of this new great bar, which I highly recommend.
(And my gay male friends, connoisseurs of these matters, are always fascinated with the beautiful waiters that work here….)
Marrakech Salón, República de Cuba no. 18, (a block from Eje Central), Col. Centro. No cover. Opens from Tuesday to Sunday.