The bar scene in Manchester has a bit of a head start on Havana, but Patchanka wouldn’t look out of place on Tib Street, or anywhere in East Berlin.
Patchanka has the massive advantage of no obvious Hemingway connections, or inclusion in the usual guides, having seemingly opened a year or so ago.
Very basic, covered in recent graffiti and old records, it was my favourite place to drink on my few days in Havana. The menu majored on cocktails (half the price of the old town mojitos) with a daringly off-menu Bucanero.
Attracting a mixed crowd, it had friendly young staff who politely interpreted my Spanglish. It was very slow, but that’s Cuba. The food stretched to a few meatball and crackers type tapas, at bargain prices.
Mrs RM kindly tasted the range of mojitos in their entirety. I was determined to acquire some liking for the local Bucanero, and it did seem less malty here than previously. No draft beers in Havana though, and not much call for imported beers.
It’s on via Bernaza, just north of via Brasil on the outskirts of the Old Town if you’re there. Havana is a really easy, and seemingly safe place to stroll around.