La Factoria

148 Calle San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Feel instantly cool when you slip through the unmarked wooden doors and enter La Factoria. Garden lights hang from the graffiti-covered walls (designed to look artsy-shabby with a stylish restraint), seductive music plays, and the liquor bottles behind the bar are lit from beneath to add to the glow. The flattering amber light in this neighborhood bar invites whispered conversations and lingering glances. La Factoria, which introduced San Juan to the craft cocktail when it opened in 2013, encourages experimentation. Take your time enjoying your drink of choice, but be sure to wander a bit further into the sprawling building where you’ll come upon separate spaces with different moods: a wine bar, a speakeasy, a dance floor.

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The art of the cocktail in Old San Juan

Well, I read about La Factoria in my in-flight magazine on the way to Puerto Rico. The article said the saucy, local bar was hush-hush—not anymore. Although it’s pub made has turned it into a tourist hotspot, some locals still hang around. It must be the masterful cocktails that keep them coming back. As the article described, La Factoria is an experience. Enter the first room and you’ll find a chill atmosphere with the token black and white tiled floor, a few velvety chairs and couches and laid back tunes. Go beyond the first door and the lighting gets dimmer and the music gets more upbeat. Enter one last room and you’ll find your ears being blasted by the same salsa tunes that echo throughout the streets of Old San Juan. Get your dancing shoes on and order up something with rum. Ask the mixologist to surprise you and you will not be disappointed!

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