Lo de Celia Tango Club

The space was formerly known as Re-Fa-Si (which was named after the tango by Enrique Delfino). In fact, Marina Palmer mentions dancing at Re-Fa-Si in her book, “Kiss & Tango,” on page 111. I danced at Re-Fa-Si for the last time in January 2000, just before it closed due to the death of the owner. 

celia-tango-club-constitucionCelia Blanco took over the space and spent months renovating it for her grand opening on July 14, 2000. I lived three blocks away on Virrey Cevallos and Carlos Calvo at the time, so I went to dance as many as four nights a week. At first, Celia’s was open only on the weekend, but eventually there were milongas on other nights.

I consider Lo de Celia to be my second home, and I know others who feel the same way. The staff sets this milonga apart from all others. Claudio is the security guard at the street door. Mario collects the entradas. Olga, his wife, manages the coat checkroom.  Johnny and Rosario are the friendly waiters. Daniel Borelli is the best deejay of all the milongas in Buenos Aires. Silvia is the friendly attendant in the ladies’ room who takes care of everything. Celia is always there to make certain that everything runs smoothly.

I have a reserved table on Wednesday and Sunday in a corner next to the bar. It’s convenient to check with Daniel for the name of an orchestra, etc. Here’s the view from my table in the photo below. The two men seated in front of the bar are Roberto Angel Puyol (left) and Orlando (right, who died two years ago). Lo de Celia (corner of Humberto Primo and Entre Rios) is the place I enjoy dancing more than any milonga in Buenos Aires. And the best thing is it’s only ten blocks from my apartment.

Rob Nuijten 2002

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6 Responses to “Lo de Celia Tango Club”

  1. Irene Ho Says:

    Dear Janis,
    We had the opportunity to attend a milonga at Lo de Celia’s on March 2 this year. It was on the day when there was torrential rain and flash flooding on the streets of Buenos Aires, so it wasn’t crowded at the milonga, but we had a great time – the people and staff were really friendly, the music was enchanting and the floor was beautiful to dance on – smooth enough to glide on and caress with your feet but not too slippery.

    We especially liked the fact that the people were there to dance and to enjoy themselves – Lo de Celia’s isn’t the kind of place like some other milongas downtown where people all over the world go to congregate and show off. It is authentic and the people are real. We loved dancing there – thanks for your post and your photo, they bring back fond memories for us.

  2. gigliola Says:

    Siamo state a ballare a lo de celia a febraio 2009e e siamo state molto contente,torneremo a trovarvi il prossimo febbraio,
    un saluto e un forte abbraccio dall’Italia.

  3. jantango Says:

    The message in Italian says: I danced at Lo de Celia in February 2009 and was very content. I will be returning there next February. Greetings and a hug from Italy.

  4. maria Says:

    He venido a bailar en lo de Celia a febrero y marzo 2009. Volver a febrero 2010. He estada muy bien con todos y me gusta mucho la milonga. Un saludo a todo el personal set de la milonga y a Celia Blanco.
    Cuanto antes
    Maria de Brescia Italia

  5. maria Says:

    Bailar también esto año en Lo deCelia ha estado para mi una grande alegria ,y una grande emocion bailar el tango con el corazon y el sentimiento que transmiten los hombres porteños. Al proximo año.

  6. Vesna Says:

    Hi there from Belgrade, Serbia,

    All comments here, together with your post, Jannis, sounds so… real tango that comes from inside. In November this year hopefully I’ll be a one who will watch the real people dance reaal tango from the bottom of their souls and you will know me by the sparkles in my eyes.

    Abrazos para todos vosotros,

    Vesna

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