Set of Drifters love a good dive bar, and Flux, a local hangout near our hotel in the Retiro, was just this side of gay from a regular “dive.”  With quirky vintage vinyl booths and an art exhibit that may ultimately have just been a plumbing disaster in disguise, Flux was certainly a bit more stylish than the more rough ’n tumble places we usually frequent, though it was easily just as accessible!  You could tell that Flux was the kind of place that mixed crowds would head to when celebrating a birthday or other such special occasion.  Completely unpretentious, it was good vibes all around.

Upon our visit, just two weeks shy of Christmas in 2008, Flux displayed quaint little bar-top holiday trees and lights strung up against its cadre of booze.  Sadly, since we both had been ill for a few days after leaving Foz do Iguaçu, we could barely muster a couple of draft pints of Quilmes!  If we had been feeling better, I’m sure we would worked our way through their signature drink menu that featured tasty options like cucumber and ginger martinis, mango mojitos and daiquiris with honey and basil!  Mmmmm!

Flux is open Monday through Thursday, and Sundays, from 7:00 PM until 2:00 AM with "Happy Hour" extending all the way until 10:00 AM!  Slightly longer hours of operation are on tap Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 PM until 3:00 AM.  Make sure you check their website for rotating art opening events!

Flux Bar - Marcelo T. de Alvear 980, Retiro, Buenos Aires, 011 (54) 11 5252-0258



Customarily, while visiting any major cosmopolitan mecca, we like to check out some of the local nightlife.  For our Sunday night in Buenos Aires we ended up at Contramano, a Barrio Norte basement bar that featured a weekly "bear party."  (Mind you, neither of your “Set of Drifters” would consider themselves a bear, but what the heck!)   Sadly, the music was preposterous, the odd cyclist spandex-induced fashions even more so.  And with the stiff price of admission and drinks, we could only afford a few bottles of Quilmes each.

Though it was fun to people watch and touch down on a scene that is not one we would normally indulge in, Contramano was not special or quirky enough to necessarily recommend to out-of-towners.  Still, we did find humor in the little kid who literally had to dance on a step so he could equal the height of his suitor 2X his age!

Contramano is open Friday and Saturday from 12:00 AM until 6:00 AM, and on Sundays from 11:00 PM until 5:00 AM.  Sadly, it’s one of those gay clubs where women are frowned up, a tip-off that something trashy is going on somewhere in the venue!  Set of Drifters tip:  For a more memorable night out, we recommend doing some investigation from home a few weeks out so that you can get the lay of the land of any large city that you may be visiting.  Otherwise, you will undoubtedly find yourself wasting time while wandering the streets in search of the perfect place to hunker down and have that Vodka Collins!  While most large cities feature local weekly guides that can assist, seeking them out can often be more of a chore than its worth, particularly if they are out of date once located!  Best to hit up some nightlife websites from the comfort of your own abode!

Contramano - Rodríguez Peña 1082, Burzaco, Buenos Aires, 011 (54) 11 4299-3882