When a pub becomes a journey back in time

87Views 0Comments Posted 30/01/2010

By Dra Lourdes Quijada and Your Man in Panama
A pub, is a pub, is a pub but when it has 40 TV screens devoted to the playing of golden oldies and a drinks offer so enticing that you can’t say no, something tells you this is a rising star in Panama's dining,  wining and entertainment firmament.

“Oldies” is the name and golden the music, from the 60s 70s and 80s. But that mix doesn’t date the audience. The crowd that drops by to dine, wine, gaze and listen, ranges from those who were not born when some of the stars were already in their prime, to those who can remember and name all the hits and performers, like one who remarked during an airing of a 1985 Aid for Africa performance at Wembley Stadium: “That wasn’t so long ago.”Early nostalgia seakers
So what’s your taste, Lisa Minelli, Michael Jackson as a kid, Elvis Presley, Blondie, Diane Warwick, Air Supply, Elton John, The Beatles, the Beach Boys. They are all there and more from one-hit-wonders to some who are still drawing the crowds.
The atmosphere is cozy with four interlocking rooms, decorated with photos and LP’s calculated to create nostalgia. Even the bowls that are used to serve bread, are re-used LP’s, molded into shape and each still containing the original label.
At my last meal our bread came in a former CD with the soundtrack of the John Travolta movie, Saturday Night Fever.
Wherever you sit in Oldies a screen beckons. The music is nonstop, and you would have to sit there for weeks on end to see every performance, so boredom is not on the menu….but great food is, from traditional pub fare to a seemingly endless selection of dishes (18 starters just to get you going).
The menu itself is a nostalgic collectors’ item, loaded with photos of the greats of the past and present, and with an ascending scale of offerings that are well prepared and cheerfully served.
A pub without chicken wings is like fish and ships without salt and vinegar, so that’s at the top of the list, along with veggie tempura, shrimps, mozzarella sticks, wraps, french fries with bacon and cheese sauce, hamburgers, brochettes, steaks and pork chops, all using imported meat, jerk chicken, giant shrimps, fish, salads and some unique desserts.
Like the music fest, you would need to stay a long time to sample all that`s listed. Oh yes, and there’s a kids’ menu too.
And the price is right, especially when you get to the drinks, a stunning list of budget priced domestic and imported beers alongside a unique way of catering to the those who like to buy in bulk, and live for another day.
Johnnie Walker scotch, Smirnoff Vodka and Abuelo rum, are all available by the bottle, ideal for a partying group.

What you don’t finish gets a sticker with your name on it, and goes into a locked container to await your return for up to 30 days, and with the Vodka you get a two for one deal. Johnnie Walker comes in at $55 ($48 on Thursdays), Abuelo at $34 ($29 Thursdays) and Smirnoff $55 (for two bottles,every day).
You will find Oldies on Calle 39, in Bella Vista. That’s the road that leads from Avenida Balboa to the National Hospital on Cuba. If you are traveling along Justo Arosemena, turn immediately after passing San Tomas Hospital, head towards Avenida Balboa, and take the first turning left past the College of Lawyers. At the first intersection look right and you will see the Oldies sign. Don’t turn right. Calle 39 is a one way street.
Oldies is closed on Mondays, but will open if you want to stage a special event. . Expats will be taking advantage of that on February 8, so keep an eye out in the Events section, for more details.It is also open for lunch, or whiling away a nostalgic afternoon, when the tones will be at a softer level.{jathumbnail off}


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