HAVANA - The newest hip spot in Havana to get a drink, flirt and chat while enjoying a sophisticated, groundbreaking, multimedia evening is appropriately located in a former cooking oil factory.
The Fabrica de Arte Cubana or the Cuban Art Factory opened just over a month ago, with musician and composer X Alfonso the powerhouse behind it.
X Alfonso, the son of the founders of the musical group Sintesis, says he grew up in a home filled with musicians, film directors, choreographers and artists of all stripes. That inspired him to recreate an environment where young and old could be exposed to the variety of the cultural world under one roof.
After a long search for a place where both famous and unknown painters, photographers, musicians and playwrights could exhibit their work, X Alfonso took over the old factory determined not to change its structure or industrial look. It's a SoHo sensibility, but cutting edge for Cuba.
X Alfonso, who has the backing of the Ministry of Culture, insists that it was not necessary to invest millions to create the Art Factory. If it has a problem, it's that no more than 600 people can crowd in at any one moment - which means there is usually a line of people still waiting to get in before it closes at 4 a.m.