Bar la placita: La Placita de Santurce — Culinary & Nightlife Neighborhood

La Placita de Santurce – Landmark Review

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Part farmers’ market, part party.

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What’s this place all about?
On weekends, La Placita de Santurce farmers’ market is a packed-to-the-gills party featuring small bars to dip into for a drink and restaurants to grab a bite. The central market is housed in a historic building, giving the revelry a truly escapist feel.

So what do we do here?
The central market is fun to walk through, but the real joy here is getting a rum drink in a plastic cup and walking around while taking in the sounds. There are excellent restaurants on the outskirts, as well, including Jungle Bird, Santaella, and Mai Pen Rai.

How easy is it to get around—especially for visitors with limited mobility?
This is a square with a central point, so it’s impossible to get lost. Those with mobility issues will be able to access the plaza; bear in mind, though, that there are surrounding steps and cobblestone streets.

What is this place best for?
Come here for cheap drinks and tasty food that won’t break the bank. Those who hate crowds should steer clear.

Location Map

CONTACT

176 Calle dos Hermanos

San Juan,

00907

Puerto Rico

+1 787-524-2500

https://la-placita-historical-landmark.business.site/

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La Placita Business Owners Revamp Operations Amid Pandemic | Business

On a typical weekend evening, the La Placita area in San Juan’s Santurce sector would be buzzing with activity—tourists and residents alike would convene by the masses to enjoy the exquisite gastronomy and vivacious nightlife that the neighborhood has to offer. But ever since the government issued an island-wide lockdown more than two months ago to curtail the COVID-19 emergency, local businesses in La Placita have struggled to make ends meet, with some looking for ways to reinvent themselves to survive the pandemic.

Chef José Santaella, the titular owner of Santaella Restaurant, said that he decided to close his establishment on March 14, just before the enactment of the first executive order that restricted business operations for restaurants, despite being exempt from the overall lockdown. Although the government has begun easing limitations on other sectors to gradually reopen the economy, Santaella explained that he hasn’t opened his restaurant’s doors, citing health concerns, but is working on a project to offer alternative services.

“We haven’t opened because we believe that now is not the right time, given that there are people under quarantine still and this emergency has not been subdued yet, and we don’t know how the virus will manifest itself,” he told THE WEEKLY JOURNAL.

Until it is safe—and legal—for the general public to physically dine in restaurants, Santaella is in the process of establishing takeout and delivery services soon.

Santaella Restaurant has been closed since March 14. >Courtesy

Meanwhile, Chef Fernando José, owner of Delavida Restobar, is offering food delivery and takeout services but stepped it up a notch by also providing these services for local produce from La Placita’s farmer’s market. The novel idea, called “Delaplaza a tu casa” (From the Plaza to Your Home), allows the restaurant/bar’s customers to purchase fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, natural juices, and some alcoholic beverages through an app, available at https://delaplazaatucasa.ecwid.com.

“We also have precooked meals, which include meat or chicken lasagnas, vegetable lasagna, pastelón with stewed chicken, and pionono made with sweet plantains and minced meat… Apart from Delaplaza a tu casa, throughout the entire month of May we also have tacos, margaritas, nachos, quesadillas, Mexican food,” José said.

He added that the delivery services are available in the metro region, including the municipalities of Bayamón, Carolina, and Trujillo Alto.

While some businesses have had to make some adjustments to carry on their businesses or are in the process of doing so, others have had to reinvent their entire concept.

Aguardiente Bar has been closed throughout the lockdown. Its co-owner, David Acosta, said that it would see between 3,000 and 5,000 clients on an average weekend, many of whom were tourists. With record lows for tourism worldwide, a nighttime curfew, and social distancing orders, the owners of this nightlife-oriented business have had to rethink its concept to endure during the pandemic and its immediate aftermath.

Aguardiente is deconstructing its concept to focus on ceviche and other foods apart from its cocktails. >Courtesy

“We are preparing ourselves to be able to operate our business responsibly and see how we can make the adjustments for Aguardiente to start selling food. We had to reinvent ourselves completely because we had some types of tapas, but our main business was during the night. In one evening we could sell [tapas] to 400, 500 people. That is impossible now,” Acosta said.

Presently, Aguardiente is distributing alcoholic beverages through food delivery apps like Uva and Uber Eats. “Our famous drinks are the Moscow Mule and our sangrias. We prepare the bottles and we sell them, or they come pick them up,” Acosta explained.

The goal, however, is to return to Aguardiente’s original concept and turn it into a type of ceviche bar, where customers will be able to eat Peruvian-style dishes. Bracing themselves for a long-term scenario, the co-owners have also decided to remodel the establishment to rely on the necessary cooking equipment, as well as COVID-19 prevention materials.

Speaking on reinvention, Santaella commented, “this is a catastrophe that we have to deal with and overcome as best as we can… this has given us all a clearer perspective.”

Fewer Employees

Like other businesses across the island and worldwide, these establishments are currently operating with less staff and have been forced to lay off some employees.

Acosta said that he and Aguardiente’s two other co-owners are maintaining the bar as they develop the new concept. Their goal is to bring back staff after they implement the new model, as well as health precautions, such as disinfectant materials, thermometers, hand sanitizer, and others.

Delavida’s José said that he had 24 active employees before the pandemic erupted. Of these, five are working now—two in the kitchen, two distributing the food, and one sanitizing and cleaning.

“Are the others still employed,” THE WEEKLY JOURNAL asked.

He responded, “they aren’t working right now, but as soon as we open, they will be working with us again.” Alas, he noted that not all will be returning. Some have seized the opportunity to “reinvent” their careers, with some working for food delivery companies like Uva and Uber Eats, and others venturing into their own businesses.

As for Santaella, the owner said that there were some layoffs because the restaurant has been closed for over two months and to allow them to solicit government unemployment benefits.

“We tried to help from the beginning. We created a fund to help workers and we are organizing that. We have to help one another because we all get along great and we are always talking via Zoom or other app. We are very close,” Santaella said. He added that he recently received payments from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These are provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help employers keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 emergency.

Editor’s note: A shorter version of this story was published on the May 20, 2020 edition of The Weekly Journal.

Hotels in La Plata — Booking.com


Stars

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review score

Excellent: 9+
Very good: 8+
Good: 7+
Fairly good: 6+

Our recommendations
Lowest price at the beginning
Number of stars and price
Rating + number of reviews

El Portal de Valencia

5 stars

Hotel in La Plata

El Portal de Valencia is located in La Plata. The property has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and terrace. This 5-star hotel offers a concierge service.
Staff were amazing, very friendly and thoughtful. The room had a nice view and was quite big enough. I also enjoyed the breakfast.

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8.1

Very good

31 reviews

Price from

€8

per night

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Hotel El Sueno De J.E.

5 stars

Hotel in La Plata

Located in La Plata, less than 1 km from Quebrada de Los Muertos, Hotel El Sueño De J.E. Features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness center and a bar.

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9

Excellent

2 Reviews

Price from

€9

per night

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Apartamento M R

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La Laja (Near La Plata)

Located in La Laja in the Huila region, Apartamento M R features a patio and garden views. Located 80 meters from Paicol, the property provides a garden and free private parking.

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Price from

€ 31

per night

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Cholupa Hostel Paicol

La Laja (Near La Plata)

Cholupa Paicol Hostel features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in La Laja. The 24-hour front desk can arrange concierge services and tours.
Everything was good. helpful staff. Clean spacious units.

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9.2

Excellent

42 reviews

Price from

€ 19

per night

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Villa CALASAN

Garzon (Near La Plata)

Located in Garzón, 300 meters from Jagua, Villa CALASAN provides accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden.
It was so peaceful, felt like a home.

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9.5

Excellent

17 reviews

Price from

€ 8

per night

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Casa de Balcones

Garzon (Near La Plata)

Casa de Balcones is located in Garzon. It features a garden, terrace and free Wi-Fi throughout. The tour desk can provide information about the region.

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9.7

Excellent

15 reviews

Price from

€ 29

per night

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Casablanca Hotel, RestoBar, Catering, Eventos & Turismo en Garzón

Hotel in Garzon

Hoteles Casa Blanca Garzón is located in Garzón. It offers free Wi-Fi, a year-round outdoor pool, terrace, spa, fitness center and restaurant.
Service and food are very good.

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8.2

Very good

168 reviews

Price from

€ 23

per night

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Habitacion Garzon Centro

Garzon (Near La Plata)

Boasting garden views, Habitación Garzón Centro provides accommodation with a patio and a coffee machine, around 2.2 km from San José.

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Price from

€ 7

per night

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Hacienda Santa Rosa

Gigante (Near La Plata)

Set in Gigante in the Huila region, Hacienda Santa Rosa offers accommodation with free private parking. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with shower and free toiletries.

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8.5

Very good

4 reviews
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Casa El Limonar Garzon

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Garzon (Near La Plata)

B&B Casa El Limonar is located in Garzón and has access to a garden.

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10

Superb

4 reviews

Price from

€17

per night

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Hotels in La Plata, Colombia | Rent a room from 840 RUB per night

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1-19 of 19

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Hotel El Portal De Valencia La PlataHotel

See on the map City center 500 m from the hotel City center 500 m from the hotel bar.

Price from
RUB 840
/nightSelect

N/A

Hotel El Sueno De J.E. La PlataHotel

See on the map City center 500 m from the hotel City center 500 m from the hotel

Price from
RUB 960
/nightSelect

N/A

Villa Nova CondominioHotel

See on map7.2 km from City Center

Boasting a bar and a garden, as well as an outdoor restaurant where you can dine.

N/A

Hotel KahveHotel

See on the map 36.4 km from the hotel La Plata 36.4 km from the hotel City center

In close proximity to this business hotel in the business district is Iglezon deralsia Cated.

Price from
RUB 2 280
/nightSelect

N/A

Hotel Campestre San Joaquin GarzónHotel

View on map 38. 6 km from the hotel La Plata 38.6 km from the city center

Price from
RUB 2,160
/nightSelect

N/A

Villa Calasan GarzónGuest house

View on map 34.3 km from the hotel La Plata 34.3 km from the hotel City center

Price from
RUB 1,140
/nightSelect

N/A

Hotel El Botalon GarzónHotel

View on map36.0 km from the hotelLa Plata36.0 km from the hotelCity center

Located near the seminario maria inmaculada, the hotel offers a sunbathing terrace and sundeck 30 rooms.

Price from
RUB 1 260
/nightSelect

N/A

Cholupa Hostel Paicol La LajaGuest house

See on map 15.0 km from the hotel La Plata 15.0 km from the city center within the territory of.

Price from
RUB 1 200
/nightChoose

N/A

Costello Campestre San AlfonsoHotel

View on map 40.1 km from the hotelLa Plata40.1 km from the city center

Located in San Alfonso, near the Iglesia Catedral de Garzon, this hotel offers a library and playground.

Price from
RUB 1 920
/nightSelect

N/A

Hotel Casa De Balcones GarzónGuest house

See on map 36.5 km from hotel La Plata 36.5 km from hotel City center

This 8-room apartment is located in Garzón, close to Capilla de monserrate.

Price from
RUB 2 400
/nightSelect

N/A

Villa Hacienda Santa Rosa GiganteFarm stay

View on map 38.1 km from hotel La Plata 38.1 km from hotel City center

Price from
RUB 2 280
/nightSelect

N/A

Villa El Paraiso GiganteVilla

View on map 38.7 km from the hotel La Plata 38.7 km from the hotel City center

Price from
RUB 2 880
/nightSelect

N/A

Apartment Casita Del Arbol Garzón Apartment

View on map 39.6 km from the hotel La Plata 39.6 km from the hotel City center

Price from
RUB 2,580
/nightSelect

N/A

Ecohotel Los Pinos
RUB 5 401
/nightSelect

N/A

Villa Casa El Limonar GarzonFarm stay

View on map 38.

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