The Kentucky Club, a hundred-year-old bar in Ciudad Juárez and cradle of the cocktail…

Ciudad Juárez (Mexico), Apr 15 (EFE).- The Club Kentucky, considered the oldest bar in the border Ciudad Juárez with its 102 years and birthplace of the margarita cocktail, recovers these days the vigor of yesteryear after passing the most bitter drink of the pandemic.

On the famous Avenida Juárez, a street known for its great nightlife, the Kentucky Club was born more than a century ago.

As the story goes, the Kentucky served its first drink in October 1920. Its owner was Francisco Montes and the place arose at a fruitful time for Ciudad Juárez since there was prohibition law in the United States and many people crossed the border to be able to drink.

Today, the place still retains much of the decoration of its beginnings, being a huge attraction for tourists.

Upon entering, you can see a long brown mahogany bar. His wood and his work was done in France and he spent time on a European ship, crossing the Atlantic.

Subsequently, the piece reached New Orleans (USA) and finally to this Mexican city, where it remains intact.

The chandeliers give a special touch to the establishment with their green and red lights, which together with white seek to symbolize the national flag.

On the walls there are photographs of baseball, bullfighting and boxing teams, hobbies of the first owner of the bar, according to what Sergio Peña, the current manager of this place, explained to Efe.

Peña also recalled that for years the entry of women was prohibited, a discrimination that was left behind decades ago.


In Kentucky, the drink known worldwide as the margarita arose.

According to what they say in the local, it was in the early 1940s and it was created by Lorenzo Hernández, who was an employee of this business.

However, other establishments and locations -such as Ensenada and Tijuana (both in Baja California) and Beverly Hills (USA), dispute the date of creation.

The popular story explains that Jesús Morales, a friend and co-worker of the creator of the drink, had a girlfriend who often visited Ciudad Juárez from Albuquerque (USA) with friends and they all loved tequila.

On a certain occasion they wanted to prepare a mixture to serve it in an elegant glass and which in turn had a special touch in its flavor.

That is how they found the perfect combination and the margarita emerged: a mixture of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice.

Peña explained that the drink is called “Margarita” because “that was the name of Jesus’ girlfriend.”

In addition, he explained that in the place -where in the past artists such as Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” or Frank Sinatra attended, and it is even rumored that the mobster Al Capone- more than a million of these popular drinks have already been served. .


Despite not having been able to celebrate its exact hundred years in 2020 due to the pandemic, the place continues to be an essential part of Ciudad Juárez.

Every tourist who visits this city attached to El Paso (Texas) has to have a margarita in the establishment, at least the first time.

Such is the case of Cecilia Soto, an American who never wants to miss out on the experience: “I had already come to this place on other occasions and I recommend that my colleagues come here. She has the best margaritas, they are delicious.”

“Sometimes we hear negative things about Juárez, but that’s not true, it’s a safe place and it’s to hang out in a good environment,” the woman concluded when talking about the adopted land of the late singer Juan Gabriel.

Due to the fact that celebrations for its 100 years could not be held, now the owners are discussing speaking with municipal authorities and being able to hold large festivities.

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