BUENOS AIRES – A subway car from the turn of the 20th century will be the Argentine capital’s newest culinary attraction, a project promoted by one of the country’s most renowned charitable foundations.
Sponsored by the Margarita Barrientos Foundation, “La Tomasa de la Quinta” will serve regional dishes while boosting tourism to Villa Soldati, a nearby Buenos Aires shantytown that is already home to the famous “Los Piletones” soup kitchen, also managed by the organization.
The Belgian-made metro car is part of the group that, from 1913-2013, plied the country’s first subway line, the oldest in Latin America.
Five years ago, the city government decided to remove the cars from circulation and donate them to institutions that requested them.
The restaurant – which features hand-painted classical and modern wall and ceiling murals – will be publicly presented at a Feb. 19 press conference and will open for business in May.
“The idea is to provide jobs to our girls, teaching them to cook,” Margarita Barrientos, president of the eponymous institution, told EFE.
By learning how to prepare attractive dishes, they will be able to arouse tourists’ curiosity and get them to visit Villa Soldati, thus helping fight the prevailing negative prejudice against the local “villeros” (slum dwellers).
Six local young people were employed in the 90-day-long overhaul alone and are continuing with work on the kitchen and restrooms, said Ezequiel Eguia Segui, the foundation’s CEO.
The restaurant’s dishes will be prepared mostly with food donations and the proceeds from the venture will go to the foundation.