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“Too bad customers (and staff) chat loudly over music”
Review of Garbo Piano Bar

Garbo Piano Bar
Ranked #109 of 1,011 Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Drinks, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
82 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Too bad customers (and staff) chat loudly over music”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

I went here twice while in PV recently and while it's an attractive venue, don't go here if actually hearing the live music being performed is important to you.

There seem to be a lot of customers and even the bartender who behave as if this is just a regular bar, laughing and talking VERY loudly the entire time, as if there weren't a living, breathing musician just a few feet away performing and trying to be heard.
This is a small space, so this dampened the experience of hearing the music for me, even with the amplification for the musicians.
I think the management needs to remind their staff, at least, to keep their voices down during the music. I guess they wouldn't want to risk saying anything similar to the loud customers who are running up a bar tab..even if there are other customers like me who might actually like to be able to hear the music..But it would help if the bartender whispered or kept his voice down during the performance.The bar crowd might actually follow his cue and show some respect..
But I left this place wondering, why do they bother having live musicians, if their own staff don't care about the noise level?
And I wonder why do some customers come here if all they want to do is chat loudly and laugh at their own stories when there are a lot of bars nearby without live music where they could be doing the same thing..does it occur to them that some people here DO come to hear the music?
This happened both times that I went in July...The first time were two very good Mexican musicians singing; a few days later there was a young American singer performing Broadway tunes with a karaoke-like accompaniment..
He had a very nice voice, and I felt sorry for him when he was trying to sing a sensitive ballad that had been specifically requested by a customer, and then having people six feet away from him roaring with laughter and the bartender carrying on very loud conversations with customers over the entire songs...at one point the singer was finishing a very touching song and on his final notes we had to listen to several queens around the bar shrieking with laughter..thanks for ruining the mood of the song!
It's too bad, because this is a space that I could like and I like the idea of hearing music, and the waiter who served us was fine. But I left after my second visit not having overly positive impressions of this place..I wish management would make up their minds what kind of place they want this to be.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Steve1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    110
    31
    5
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“One of a Kind....”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I make it a point to visit Garbo's each time I visit Puerto Vallarta. It tends to be an older crowd with a few locals hanging out but definitely one of the better bars in the romantic section. Their cocktails are great and the staff (including German) are very welcoming. You tend to meet people from all over the globe. Make sure to check out their monkey candle holder collection.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maxx32655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
56 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Comfortable and welcoming gay bar.”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

This is a clean quiet gay bar that often has jazz combos and caters to an older, mostly ex-pat crowd. Good place to start out before heading to wilder venues.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank scottchamberlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great bar, but no food”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Every trip we take to Puerto Vallarta includes multiple stops at Garbo's. It's a great place to start or end an evening out. They don't serve food, but do have excellent cocktails. The music is wonderful...piano or other small groups play there. Relaxing. Ask if Pablo is there...he gives you great service! He even sings sometimes with the piano or other groups...he's the best.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank storckdsgn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco,ca
Level Contributor
72 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“The One And Only!!!!”
Reviewed June 7, 2013

This is the only bar in Puerto Vallarta that is SMOKE FREE!!!

Although pricey for the area, It is worth been in such a welcoming environment.
I have been coming to PV for years and for some reason this bar never appealed to me in the past. This trip, as it frequently happens, things change. After visiting the spot we always went to before and after dinner on Olas Altas (I won't mention the name) we decided it was time to move on and we were grateful to have enjoyed Garbo's as much as we did.
Thanks to German for the great 'Hattans' I have been day dreaming about this year's trip ever since I came home.
Hasta La Proxima!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank louisethethird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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