This grocery store's fate wasn't to be a neighborhood market; it was to be the most emblematic bar on the island.
You'll give this place a star.
The history of La Bodeguita del Medio dates back to 1942. Around that time Angel Martínez set out to open a grocery store. He accomplished it, and the locals took it upon themselves to also make it a meeting place to have a drink, making it the preferred place for the community to congregate. Later on local artists also found it to be the perfect place to meet. But that wasn't enough for Martínez, who also patronized the artists himself. The transformation of La Bodeguita del Medio was inevitable, finally becoming a bar where you could find artists such as Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Márquez and especially Ernest Hemingway hanging out; all left autographs, drawings, photos and other mementos. Now you know why you can't leave Havana without having the obligatory mojito at this bar.