After underestimating Colombia, BH gets ready for Argentinians

Savassi bars and restaurant owners are stunned by the number of colombians in town

iG Minas Gerais | Thaís Pimentel |

The Colombian wave, formed by more than 40 thousand tourists who arrived in Belo Horizonte for the match against Greece at Mineirão stadium, has stunned the bar owners in the city. At Savassi, region that has become a tourists' refuge, bars and restaurant owners had to adapt to the demand. "Suddenly, there were 2.000 in the pedestrian block at Antônio de Albuquerque street. We had to close a part of our space so that we could manage to serve everyone. Thank goodness we didn't go short on anything, but it has been far beyond our expectations", revealed Orizontino bar owner, Alex Arreguy. He said he already had meetings with his employees in order to trace a strategy to serve the Argentinians, who will arrive at Belo Horizonte for the match against Iran, this Saturday (21).

Some bars of the region got short of beer. "We are going to have to organize better not to have trouble. Despite the alarm, the Colombians have been really nice and polite", said Arreguy.

Also preparing for the "hermanos" wave is Atlético Mineiro store, in the same block. "Many Colombians came in here looking for Ronaldinho's jersey. But as it costs R$ 249,90 (approx. US$ 111), we only ran out of L size", says manager Roberta Rossi. Even not having sold all the official uniforms supply, she celebrates the 70% increase in sales, comparing to the week before the World Cup. "We sold lots of other products. On Friday, we had a caos. It was madness, I'm even fearing the Argentinians", she joked. "Some jerseys are not numbered nor named. I think I'm going to print 'Ronaldinho' on all of them, because demand will be big", revealed Roberta.

At Baiana do Acarajé restaurant, which has two units in Savassi, expectations are high. "We didn't think so many people would come, mostly because of low demand on Confederations Cup and because of the protests. But it's been great. The demand has been surprising", told the manager Nem Melo. "Thank goodness we didn't run out of beer, because the Colombians drink and eat a lot. Let the Argentinians come!", she cheers.

At Mercado Central, the Colombians have enjoyed the snacks. On Saturday, after the match, a group of four supporters begged the owners not to close the bars. "We want liver! We want liver", shouted the tourists, charmed by the typical dish made with bovine liver and "jiló" (Brazilian vegetable), made by the bars in the market.

Too much cheese. If, on one hand, the snacks and the beer have been the light of the party, "queijo Minas" (typical type of cheese made only in Minas Gerais), one of Mercado Central's stars, has been set aside. "Many people came here over the weekend, but they wouldn't buy", complained an employee of Comercial do Queijo store. "The sales have been normal for a weekend, we didn't see any increases", told a saleswoman of Laticínios Eldorado store.


40 thousand Colombians came to Belo Horizonte to watch the match between Colombia and Greece for the World Cup

Around 2.000 tourists celebrated Colombia's victory 3-0 in Savassi, at the central region of the city

More than 160 thousand foreigners must come to Minas Gerais capital during the competition, according to Belo Horizonte's administration.

20 thousand Argentinians are expected to watch the match between Argentina and Iran, this Saturday (21), in Mineirão stadium.

Translated by Raquel Sodré

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