If the snazzy, urban, ooh-lah-lah bars of Barrio Brasil are the brand new, accessorized beamer motorcycles with the wind guards and the seatbacks, then La Capacha is a stripped down Harley chopper: beer, completos and bands.
Located at the intersection of Avenida Brasil and Santo Domingo, this live music venue won’t be found in your Lonely Planet guidebook. Places like this usually find you.
La Capacha doubles as a residence and looks like any other urban dwelling in the area. The only signs distinguishing it are the handful of people milling around the front door, the music reverberating to the street and the name La Capacha scribbled on the wall outside with a simple and ugly arrow clarifying which door to use.
The flight of wooden stairs behind the front door leads to a noisy, old, grungy and somewhat funky second floor apartment. It feels like a house party.
The living room, littered with small chairs and pillows, has bookshelves full of empty beer and wine bottles clinging to the walls. The kitchen serves as the bar and leads to the room with all the action. The dark performance space, though only decorated by playbills cluttering its walls at odd angles, and a few cheap lamps, comes to life when the bands heat up. The wooden floorboards shake and the black walls echo every guitar stroke and scream.
The punk-rock music, combined with the liter beers ($1,500) and completos ($400), makes you feel like you’re watching your buddies’ band play in their garage; a beautiful atmosphere to get drunk in. The owners, Felipe Quevedo and Pía Barraza, are easy to talk to and seem to enjoy the shows as much as the fans, adding to the home-grown-fun feel that makes La Capacha the perfect spot for gringos in search of live music and a buzz, off Santiago’s beaten paths.