Armenonville

The Armenonville was a remakably luxurious cabaret frequented by the high society of the 1910’s and 1920’s. It was located near the edge of the city of Buenos Aires on Avenida Alvear, now Libertador, at the corner of Tagle.

The building itself was a two story chalet designed to resemble a French hunting pavillon of the same name. It was surrounded by large green spaces and parks with enchanting terraces and rotondas. It was particularly popular during the summer months for the upper classes to escape the city in good style.

The food was of the very best quality at the cabaret Armenonville, just as everything else the cabaret had to offer. Promotional posters announced the finest french cuisine, imported wines, parking for automobiles and carriages, beautiful terraces, gardens and the finest entertainment.

The purpose of a cabaret is to offer dinner and show and so the ground level inside of the Armenonville was organized around a large dance floor and a stage. The room was surrounded not only by tables but also by boxes and balconies like in a theatre.

This most highly fashionable venue was inaugurated by Vicente Greco and his orquesta típica in 1911. Other tango musicians who performed at the Armenonville in the early years include Roberto Firpo, Eduardo Arolas and Augustin Bardi.

The Armenonville also played an important role in advancing the career of Carlos Gardel. In 1913, Gardel was hired to perform at the Armenonville with José Razanno for 70 pesos per night, a sum for which Gardel admitted he would have been grateful to wash the dishes as well. There the duo attracted the attention of Pablo Podestá, a regular who led them to travel to Montevideo where Gardel discovered his first tango, “Mi noche triste”.

When the Armenonville was demolished in 1925, the owners Carlos Bonifacio Lanzavecchia and Manuel Loreiro took their business to a new location. The cabaret Armenonville became Les Ambassadeurs.

There is a 1912 tango by Juan Maglio entitled “Armenonville”.

________

[1] Tango: Cien anos de historia (Vol. II). Buenos Aires: Editorial Perfil, 1992. Print.

[2] “El Armenonville, un cabaret inspirador”. Clarin, october 8, 2012. Online. https://www.clarin.com/ciudades/Armenonville-cabaret-inspirador_0_ryfGMJkhvXl.html

[3] “Carlos Gardel: Debut en Armenonville.” Hagase la musica. Online. http://www.hlmtango.com/notas/carlos-gardel/debut-en-el-armenonville/

[4] Cabaré Armenonville. Arcón de Buenos Aires. Online. http://www.arcondebuenosaires.com.ar/conf_armenonville.htm

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