The Cuban Interests Section in the US capital has opened an invite-only bar in honour of the US writer Ernest Hemingway, who spent considerable time in Cuba during the 1940s and 1950s.
Very little has been said or written in the United States about the close relationship of this important literary figure with Cuba, Cuban representative Jorge Bolanos said at the opening of the bar late Thursday.
The United States and Cuba severed diplomatic relations in 1961 following Fidel Castro's communist revolution, and while the Interests Section is still based in a historic Washington mansion, it operates through the Swiss embassy.
A year ago, Bolanos oversaw restoring parts of the grand building, and decided to rename one of the rooms after the writer to be used on special occasions.
We hoped there would be a third Hemingway bar, not in Havana, but here said spokesperson Juan Jacomino. Two other Hemingway bars operate in the Cuban capital.
In a sign of the exclusive bar's early success, on opening night, waiters were working hard to keep up with the demands of all the thirsty gringos calling for drinks.
Hemingway lived in Cuba on and off from 1939 until 1960 and wrote parts of For Whom the Bell Tolls there. The 1940 novel set during the Spanish Civil War is considered one of his greatest works.
His Cuba years also inspired The Old Man and the Sea, a 1952 novel believed to have played a major role in his winning the Nobel Prize for Literature two years later.
The Nobel Prize winner's home officially has been a Cuban museum since 1961.