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IF A METEORITE PLUNGED into the earth and panic enveloped the cities, streets, homes, restaurants and bars, Don Javier would keep stirring his Batangas. At La Capilla, in Tequila town, this 90-something-year-old has been doing what he’s been doing since before anyone reading this could read.
Here, time is an arbitrary construct. Events happen, but mostly outside of the bar. This is Tequila town’s refuge from its stresses. Whether that be the perils of agave plundering or just a bad batch of guacamole, it can all be washed away with a good measure of tequila. If the local musicians haven’t swung by, the beaten up mid-90s hi-fi can still spit out a tune or two, though mostly entertainment at La Capilla is something you bring with you.
Some sit on the modest plastic chairs that face out to open doorways and the dusty street beyond, but the best spots aim at the bar, in view of the stooped master. The Batanga (coke, lime and tequila) was invented here back in the 1950s and its legend has spread as far as Artesian. But Javier knows how to mix it best. That is, with his massive knife that should probably have its own scabbard.
Perhaps the bar trade flocks here for Javier, perhaps it’s for the Batangas. Whichever, La Capilla is a place of pilgrimage for tequila believers.
Some bars have fancy toilets. La Capilla has a toilet. But there are few, if any, places more authentically hospitable.