Four days have passed since the news, and Fabio Caschetto has 640 unread whastapp messages. Another 1,500 messages can be found in Instagram posts. They all say more or less the same: “Where you go, we will follow you”, “forces, we must move forward”, “they have our support.” Is that the famous branch of the grill “El Tano”, in Avellaneda, located on Güemes avenue, announced its closure.
“… today we find ourselves evicting in a few hours how much we broke our backs in several years. That is why today we ask for your help, so that this terrible moment that the Municipality of Avellaneda is putting us through, is not forever and we can open the meeting place of many families, friends, and that they leave again with the belly full and happy, “says the statement released on social networks.
Caschetto receives Clarion in the other branch of “El Tano”, in Dock Sud, attended by his brother Damián. Account that the problems began on December 23. That day they notified him by a debt that he had with the Municipality of Avellaneda. That night, his father, Juan Caschetto, owner of the grill, tested positive for Covid. He was admitted and passed away on January 22. Since December 24, the grill was closed, like every year.
“In January I presented myself and we agreed on a payment plan,” he details. “It would be six installments. I paid the first one in February and when I returned to my business I found that I had license revoked. In March I paid the second installment. But they still wouldn’t let me open it and it was impossible for me to pay more fees. He no longer had the rest to do it. Look what happens with the cars: you must patent and you can continue driving. I did not understand why didn’t they let me work. In the Muni they told me that the order ‘came from above’ “.
There was something to Fabio that did not close. His brother’s branch had also been ordered to regularize its situation. But unlike his, he was able to keep working. In addition, Fabio had to pay between 200 thousand and 300 thousand pesos just for the authorization renewal process. It was impossible. The same with the rent. He stopped paying in December.
The shutter closed on the grill “El Tano”, who could not face the debts he had. Photo: Fernando de la Orden
“Only in December they gave me 18 tickets for parking my truck at the door of the store and taking down merchandise,” he says, very angry. “To my clients, the same: they came to eat and the Municipality gave them fines. They threw people out. The Municipality came for everything. I had to pay them even for a sign in front of my premises, for advertising purposes. The thing is, my dad took care of them. I never knew what arrangements I had. But I think that if my old man lived, we would not have reached this situation. “
Before the sayings of Caschetto, Clarín contacted the Municipality of Avellaneda to find out their version of the conflict. One of the spokesmen replied: “We know about the case. For now there is no official communication“.
Since February, and until today, Fabio works in the other branch. On May 19, with 40 days to go before the renewal of the rental contract for his Güemes grill, the real estate agency informed him that after 20 years, they would not renew the contract. “How did they want me to pay? If I could never open and work. I never asked that they not charge me. Only that they allowed me to work. Despite the fact that in each contract renewal they asked me for the 100% increase, when it is estimated to charge 30%. But they saw that we were working well and they asked us what they wanted. ”
The discarded furniture of the “El Tano” grill in Avellaneda, permanently closed. Photo: Fernando de la Orden
During 2020, he was practically unable to work as before. Between March 20 and July, it was closed or could only do so under the take away mode. He kept paying rent and wages. He estimates that he lost, at least, 500 thousand pesos a month. Later he was able to receive clients. But only 30% of the room. “Everyone knew our style of work: we gave you a lot of food for little money. We earned a little from each place setting. Our gain was always in volume. I lost money all year long.”
From the bar to the grill
The history of El Tano was born in the nineties. Fabio and his father had a bar in Dock Sud. Chiquito, from the neighborhood. “Los Amigos” was called. One day in 1996 it occurred to him to put two barbecue grills on the same side of the bar. He started the fire and roasted a couple of sausages and some meat. Fabio says that he had been a greengrocer and that he had worked in clubs, always in Avellaneda. And that was fundamental: his first clients were his acquaintances and neighbors. Five years later, he left the street to rent the premises of Güemes and inaugurate it as “Parrilla El Tano”.
Over time, or rather with word of mouth, its own style and good service, the place began to be named. Grew up. And only residents of Avellaneda stopped visiting him. Diego Armando Maradona appeared on any given day. Any other day, Juan Román Riquelme arrived. Footballers made him popular. They received full promotion rosters. Later, players who landed in the country to play for the Copa Libertadores became habitual.
From footballers to unions: they wanted to say goodbye to the year or celebrate their workers’ day. Then the famous. A close friend of Susana Giménez asked if the place could be closed for her. At the same time, the local public did not fail him: “We believe that 90 percent of the residents of Avellaneda came at least once. Every day we had birthday celebrations, “he remembers. To get in, you had to wait one, two or even three hours. The next step was the foreign. Tourists who came to Buenos Aires and did not want to miss the experience of a non-tourist grill. In 2010, his brother opened the other branch.
Among his thousands of loyal customers, one approached him with a specific proposal: open a branch in Miami. He was willing to put up the money for the investment and become a partner. Another the same, but with Spain as a destination. Fabio preferred reject proposals. He was happy in his place. He looked big right there, like his dad. Not only did he go through his business: his children studied in Avellaneda and he continued to live in the Municipality, even though he could live wherever he wanted.
Now he changed his mind. He says that he will continue with his sister until his debts are paid off, and that then he aspires to open a grill out of the country. “People tell me to open something here, in another Municipality, that they will follow me. The point is that here you work and you melt. I know that I can fill anywhere in Buenos Aires. But it would be to deny all the same again, “he concludes.