Medellin and San Jose have alot in common and attract many of the same travelers and ex-pats. One thing Medellin currently lacks, however — and here’s a hint to all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there — is a friendly local bar for the gringo crowd. That bar in San Jose is the Bar Poas.
Rockford, Illinois, native Harry Hart has owned the Poas for almost seven years and has transformed it from one of many tico bars into one of the most popular meeting spots in downtown San Jose for gringos and ticos alike. Located in Barrio Amon a few blocks from Parque Morazon, the Poas attracts a mixed crowd of roughly two-thirds foreigners and one-third locals. Some of the foreigners are younger travelers from the Pangea Hostel located a few doors down but the majority are long time Costa Rica residents.
This mix of old and young blood, plus the ability to practice your Spanish with locals, have contributed greatly to making the Poas as popular as it is. (The recent closure of the New York Bar and the departure of its longtime owner, Richard Arthur, hasn’t hurt either.) Add in the availability of both gringo and tico food until the wee hours, the frequent parties hosted by the proprietor (often with free jello shots), the friendly air of comradery, and the reasonable prices, it’s no surprise that the Poas is successful as it is.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your nombre. If you’re in San Jose, that’s the Poas.
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