Live the Dash on the BA Pub Crawl

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Meet the Pub Crawl Buenos Aires StaffWith a face full of pizza, awkwardly holding a beer in a plastic cup, surrounded by strangers, it’s hard to predict what to expect. You’ve arrived at a park in Palermo, signed in, chatted a bit, and loaded yourself with the much-needed sustenance for the night of drinking ahead. “How does this work? Who are these people? And am I going to have fun?” you ask yourself. Two hours later, as you give a group cheer to the bartender and slam down a neon-blue shot with 20 people; it all begins to make sense. You are on a pub crawl.

The Buenos Aires Pub Crawl was started by Dustin Walsh, Jeremy Bara and Miguel Salas. Their rather appropriate motto is “live the dash.” In other words, as they explain, the dash is what goes on your gravestone before your birth and death. The concept is to enjoy the time you have to its fullest, because when you die, the dash has already been eclipsed.

Though it’s a brand new venture in Buenos Aires, the Buenos Aires Pub Crawl has found success in its simplicity. The partners find the bars that will fit their clientele, offer a controlled social atmosphere, drink discounts, pizza, and most importantly provide a good time. The concept on the business end is simple: Bring customers to bars (10-40 people) in exchange for a round of free shots, happy-hour discounts, and consistency. Once the pub crawl chooses the bars, they come back week-to-week, only rotating the order of bars. For the pub crawler, all you need to worry about is your $50 peso crawl fee, and the rest is in the hands of the organizers.

Kicking off the Buenos Aires Pub CrawlThe first thing I noticed as an honorary crawler for the night is how outwardly friendly people are. From working in bars for so many years, I understand that this has a lot to do with alcohol. However, there truly is a sense of camaraderie with these types of events. No one goes on a pub crawl to be a fly on the wall. We’re all foreigners, mostly new to the city, and looking to be social. A few blue shots and 2 for 1 Fernets later, and you’re practically best friends. Or at least that’s how you feel, and that’s the goal.

So far, the crawl operates three nights a week, Thursday nights in Palermo, and Friday and Saturday nights in San Telmo. I went on the Thursday night crawl. There were about 20 crawlers and seven employees. We went to three bars, and finished the night at a club, or boliche, as they call it here. The bars were cool, and very different from each other.

The first bar, called 8077, was more of a lounge, with art-deco influenced furniture, white linen-covered chairs, and an L-shaped loft. The next bar, Tazz, felt like a hybrid Argentine/American pub. It had high ceilings and a long bar which stretched almost half of the length of the entire place. The theme here was beer, beer, and more beer after the first obligatory free mixed shot. I could see some of the less seasoned drinkers getting a bit tipsy. I met some cool guys from Philly, so I knew I was with a crew who could power on.

Next stop was Sullivan’s Irish Pub. Thankfully, there were tables and chairs. Surprisingly we hadn’t lost anybody. The whole group was intact, and after hitting another bar we powered through to our final destination, Niceto Club. We jumped the queue and headed into one of Palermo’s best clubs, which was packed and steamy as it had been raining heavily for the past hour.

Yours truly.By this time, honestly, I’m surprised half of these kids were still alive. Hence all of the pizza and empanadas before the tour starts. Going to 4 bars in 4 hours may seem like child’s play, but it’s not. It’s important to pace yourself, eat, and cut yourself off if you need to. The craw hosts want you to have a good time, but they are insistent on being somewhat responsible. Once you puke, fight, fall down, you’ve not only wrecked your night, but you just became a 20-person buzz kill. Bottom line, don’t be that guy/girl.

Buenos Aires Pub Crawl
Check in regularly as they are constantly expanding their tours and opening up in new neighborhoods. Cheers.

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