Esquina Carlos Gardel, Tango Show and Dinner in Buenos Aires
At the corner of the alley named after Carlos Gardel and Anchorena street, next to a statue that immortalizes the most famous tango singer, there used to be a restaurant that was the gathering place for the colorful characters of the popular market of Buenos Aires.
More than 100 years later, as if by magic, the story comes back into life.
Each corner of Buenos Aires is edged with tango; however, only on of them is at its leading edge.
Chanta Cuatro Restaurant was a silent companion to Carlos Gardel’s nights of dining and tango singing until sunrise with friends.
Chanta Cuatro opened its doors for the first time in 1893, at that time as a two storied restaurant and family hotel. Visitors were invited to play “bochas” (bocce) at the court attached to the restaurant. The opening of Chanta Cuatro was almost simultaneous with that of the old Mercado de Abasto (produce market) of the city of Buenos Aires, sharing its glory and decadence. It housed workers, immigrants and “malandras” (scoundrels). It witnessed the splendor of tango, maybe due to the proximity to Carlos Gardel’s home at Jean Jaures street, less than two blocks away.
The expression “Chanta Cuatro” originates from the game of “bochas” (from the Italian bocce). The game consists in throwing the bocha and, and trying to land as many as possible close to a special, smaller ball called “bochín” . Each player starts with four balls. If one player succeeds in getting three balls near the bochín, and the other player manages to place one of his closer to it , the first player still has a chance of winning the round. The last ball has to hit the one of the opponent, moving it away and taking its place (playing “chanta”), thus winning four points and achieving “Chanta Cuatro”.