My compa Don Ignacio SMC, inspired me to write this post because he had some videos on his Facebook page with old Rancheras/Corridos/Nortenas. While browsing through the videos and listening to others on YouTube I noticed a common theme of old paisa bars, they seemed always pop up in the older videos. Artists such as Vicente Fernandez and Los Tigeres del Norte and countless others always had scenes in old paisa bars. Most of these are classic movie clips they starred in from back in the 1970s and 1980s.
The typical paisa (to me) is described as:
- Big with lots of booths and tables
- Usually a baby blue or dirty white color/wood paneling
- The occupants, mostly men and the women mostly ficheras
- Regulars from 1971
- The best juke boxes around
- Budweiser and Tequila
- Cheap drinks
- Ripped up pool tables with cheap wood paneling
- The smell of windex and cloro
- The womens bathroom almost non existent
Growing up I noticed there were tons of these spots all over Los Angeles including San Pedro/Harbor Area. These joints always looked forbidden to go into and mostly always had that infamous cortina covering the doorway. As time went by and the era of newer bars/clubs, sports bars and lounges started popping up many of these places started shutting down. In some instances many of these places started getting gentrified by younger hipster kids ( look at Echo Park or downtown) . However, there are still some of these spots scattered around the hood. In San Pedro we got the Kan Kan on 1st and Paciific and in Wilmington there is a good handful left along Avalon Blvd. Now that am old enough to get into these places it is always a historical treat to be able to check one out. For now I’d like to give some recognition to some of these paisa cantinas and bars from back in the days…Cheers!!!!
Los Cowboys, Wilmington B Street is long gone. This photo was personally given to me by photographer John Humble thanks again.
Why do you love/or dislike these paisa bars so much? please share your feelings.
Asta la proxima gueyes!