Work has resumed on the restoration of Confitería La Ideal, the classic café from 1912. Located in Suipacha, Buenos Aires Confitería Ideal used to be the first place tango dancers new to the city would visit – as much for the history of the building as for the regular milongas. Closed in 2017 the renovation and restoration was stalled by the pandemic and only resumed in July, 2021.
Over the years Ideal had deteriorated. Columns and wood were obscured by decades of tobacco smoke, structures were crumbling, some of the stained glass in the magnificent ceiling dome had been replaced with vinyl and the central gap between the two floors had been closed to make a dance floor.
The stained glass windows have been restored and will now let in natural light – the roof which covered it has been removed and a glass one installed in its place. Much of the old features including the Venetian stucco, the woodwork, the Czechoslovakian armchairs and the wall nights will be restored and replace. The opening between the two floors is back and will be surrounded by a two metre high glass railing.
Those who have danced there in a hot Buenos Aires summer will be pleased to know that the cedar wood panelling, which is the original panelling from 1912, will hide air conditioning units and both floors. The new lift, which was essential has been made in the style of 1912. There will also be a new kitchen and bar.
For those who know Confitería Ideal it will be be exciting to visit this amazing building in its restored state – and for those who have yet to visit, it will be an awesome experience.
Update: February 2023.
Confiteria la Ideal is open for business – as a cafe, not a milonga venue. Like other great cafes, for example Tortoni in Buenos Aires, it will be a go to for coffee, a media luna, a glass of wine – and to soak in the ambience in a truly beautiful, historic place.