A tango landmark has bitten the dust

I was out for an evening walk with no destination or route in mind. When I found myself close to the site of El Arranque (2000-2017), I thought it was a perfect time to check on the status of the building Nuevo Salon La Argentina.  I walked by it and had to take a step back.  The entire entrance had been boarded up, but I peeked inside just as workers were finishing for the day.  My jaw dropped.  The interior of the enormous dance salon with bar and stage had been completely gutted in one month.  There was nothing left except the steel support beams and roof.  The owners had a For Rent sign on the building in early 2017, but who could afford to rent the dance hall.  Nobody.  However, someone bought it.  Construction began on what will be a gymnasium.  There is a building permit displayed indicating that the new owner is Asian and lives in my neighborhood.

Just what the city needed — one less dance venue and one more gymnasium.  I remember many wonderful tandas at El Arranque with Alito, Hector, Osvaldo, Roberto and many others.  Maybe the plans include a dance studio?

This was the last night of dancing at El Arranque.

Before and after photos of Nuevo Salon La Argentina with a for rent sign on the building in 2017 and how it is today.


5 Responses to “A tango landmark has bitten the dust”

  1. Stephen Twist Says:

    The first venue on my tango journey, a first embrace, my first Marioeduardo Orlando tanda. A museum of tango – one day the doors had to close for, as the old milongueros disappeared, the tango community did not replace them at El Arranque.

  2. tangobob Says:

    I was there that night and also morn the passing of this great venue. It is, perhaps, a shame that few of those who came for the last night failed to support it in the final years.

  3. jantango Says:

    I walked past the remnants of the salon today. The barricade was wide open so I could see what the workers were doing inside. I stood there in disbelief, still numb by the idea that a dance salon is destroyed for the construction of a gymnasium. A man was on a ladder removing the lighting fixtures. There wasn’t much to see in the dark space that once was full of music and dancing five nights each week. I told a worker outside that I felt sad seeing the ruins of a elegant dance salon.

  4. michael Says:

    This was my favorite milonga when I visited in 2009. It was an afternoon milonga that began around 3:30 and went until 9. I look back with humor that two women answered my cabeceo and I was able to dance with the intended woman. The same thing happened to another man EXCEPT the women shrieked and both went back to their tables. Everybody knew there was a mistake and watched him not dance with either of them. That’s probably the worst thing that can happen to a man at a milonga. Two chances and struck out twice.

    Afterwards, I went to Tenedor LIbre for dinner.

  5. jantango Says:

    Thanks for relating your story in the milonga El Arranque. I remember how much you enjoyed going there during your one and only visit to Buenos Aires.

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