Just before Martine and I flew to Buenos Aires in 2011, one of the world’s greatest literary cafés was turned overnight into a Nike sportswear shop. Where once Jorge Luis Borges sat and wrote his stories, and where Graham Greene hung out (and commemorated) while he was writing The Honorary Consul, and where Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ate near his “charming little apartment” on Calle Florida, you can now buy shoes and other clothing items that are also available in a thousand other nearby outlets.
If I make it to Argentina later this year, I plan to photograph the damage, while urging you to boycott Nike. As far as I’m concerned, they can go and swoosh themselves into oblivion.
There is a charming article in the Argentina Independent about Calle Florida, where the Richmond was located at #468 (near the intersection with Lavalle). You can read more about the Cafe Richmond in The Guardian and The Independent.
Fortunately, Buenos Aires is a city with many great cafés; but, sometimes, when a great one closes, the ripples are felt around the world.
Gabriela Kogan has written a great little book which Martine and I used called The Authentic Bars, Cafés, and Restaurants of Buenos Aires which is available from The Little Bookroom.