Laid-off waiters seize historic Buenos Aires cafe

Associated Press
Carlos Forlenza, a worker of the Cafe Richmond, holds up a wooden bar used to lock the main door of the cafe in Buenos Aires, Argentina,  Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. The Richmond, closed by its owners, was taken by workers to protest against its closing. The cafe opened in 1917 and became a favored gathering place for Jorge Luis Borges and other intellectuals. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — One of the literary cafes that made Argentina's capital such a romantic travel destination is now gone.

The Cafe Richmond in Buenos Aires opened in 1917 and became a favored gathering place for author Jorge Luis Borges and other intellectuals.

For many years, chess players also hung out there. But the elegant cafe lost much of its luster, and most of the tourists crowding Florida Street don't know its history.

Waiters showed up Monday to find the cafe closed down. The owners reportedly plan to rent it out for a Nike store, and have already cleared out all the furniture and historic artifacts.

The workers are now occupying the site and say they won't leave until they get paid.

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