A surreal fever-dream of a bar. As the name indicates, it’s Beatles-themed—and we mean really, really Beatles-themed. The government-run venue mostly offers Cuban cover bands, and is far more popular among locals than tourists. This is fascinating for many reasons:
- The Beatles were unofficially outlawed back in the 60’s, as was all other rock music, for being “counter-revolutionary”
- The bar is run by the government, which is blatantly ripping off the Beatles’s images, song lyrics, and album artwork without paying any royalties (because it’s Cuba)
- The bands play almost exclusively American and British rock music—Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, ACDC (yes, you may have the chance to play the Thunderstruck drinking game at a live show), Radiohead, REM, John Bon Jovie, and Maroon 5 (if you call that rock music, which the Tu Yuma staff officially does not). There’s some current pop music thrown in, and in between sets they play music videos from aforementioned bands
- The audience is mostly Cuban—more specifically a mix of young Cubans dancing with their friends and Cuban families/married couples sitting at the tables with a bottle of rum
So, to reiterate, it’s a government-run bar illegally themed after a previously-illegal band playing almost exclusively international rock music to an almost entirely Cuban crowd.
Go here. It’s fun, and fascinating if you know the full story. A nice bonus is that since it’s government-run but NOT catering to tourists, the drinks are super cheap. If you’re really looking to save, ask how much a bottle costs.
And, no joke, Thunderstruck just came up next on my playlist, so that’s the end of the article because I have some work to do.
Calle 17 and 6, Vedado, Havana
Shows usually start after 10pm