Next to the bay, by the passing boats in Havana, the bar Two Brothers (also known as “Dos Hermanos”) is a shelter for those who need a cool drink after a walk in the warm capital, or a night corner for bohemian travelers.
Opened across the street, it is a perfect place to watch the pedestrian in a rush to reach the dock in time to ride the “lanchita” de Regla, a boat that regularly carries to a town across the bay, avoiding the long ride in automobile.
This is a place with history, some of it used to deal with prostitutes (mujeres de la vida), but it has now regained all the good from inside to show it to tourists interested in knowing the Cuban people.
In 1817 it was a dining place for seamen and in 1894 was rebuilt, until 1945 when it was regularly visited by North American who formed the army of the United States, but it was also the favorite place for the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.
A rare combination of worldly space and poetic environment accompanies its current 80 seats, in a first hall, almost next to the street, and divided by wooden pieces, and another one to the back, more intimate.
Its present-day location remains as it used to be, recalls the time when the Cuban outstanding musician Benny Moré used to visit here, as well as the dancer Isadora Duncan and the actor Eduard J. Robinson.
Many people come to the place to take a peaceful breakfast, or just to see couples full of love dancing a Bolero or a Son while others sip their drink even without noticing the others.
It is a place of a constant life and most of the foreign customers are from Germany, Italy and North American. Along with the drink, they serve fried “majúa”, those fried little fish unique to accompany drinks such as rum or beer, with oisters.
The Cuban food is the most served, pork, bread with beef steak, local beer… Varied combinations, apparently for visitors in a rush, but many times they take their time to listen to anecdotes and to talk to the staff who know about legends.
It is a site to take a seat and recall other times, to listen to the music of a septet at dusk, when the sun is almost reaching the sea, and after midnight; to talk to friends. That was, as it seems, the environment that Lorca liked the most.
As a magic story such as those of the Habana Vieja, the restaurant is called two ways, Two Brothers and Dos Hermanos, since its original owners were Spanish, but due to the flow of northerners it was turned into the language of Shakespeare and so remained.
Run by the Habaguanex S.A. Company, this facility comprises the mystery of the docks, the fresh air in the afternoon and the scent of the oil in the frying pan spread along with the feeling of a sip of that Cuban rum remarked by so many people.