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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

The KGB Bar

Cartagena, Colombia

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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This might not have been our first pick, but a friend of ours recommended that we visit The KGB Bar in Cartagena.

What is a Russian Bar doing in a Colonial City like Cartagena?

Good question.

So... we had to find out for ourselves.

KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

KGB Russian Bar

Yup. There it was, right on a corner, appropriately painted "Russian Red."

We decided to check it out.

Our server at the KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Natasha, a Russian Agent, checking our phones before proceeding

Servers are all dressed in era-relevant uniforms.

 

 

 

 

Apparently, the owner has been collecting Russian memorabilia for 20 years.

menu at KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

The menu at KGB Russian Bar

The Russian Bar offers beers, shots, both Russian and classic cocktails, full bottles and half bottles of various liquors and non-alcoholic beverages.

The food offerings are limited to a hamburger and two different grilled chopped selections. I imagine that they are chicken, pork or beef with vegetables.

We thought there might be more of an appetizer choice, but decided to have Caribbean rum and find a meal elsewhere for the evening.

Beautiful waitress at KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Watching our every move...

Behind this Natasha you see Russian military hats, canteen bottles, and a large photo of Lenin speaking to a crowd of people.

Personally, I have to say that I felt a bit of a chill looking at this leader, and the photo of the Russian populace of so many years ago.

Lenin was a controversial and highly divisive historical figure. He was founder and leader of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and mass killings.

The KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

The outside of the bar painted in bright red

The owner of the bar states at the entrance that he is not endorsing any political philosophy, but rather his bar is a work of art.

In the display window on the right, you can see a collection of Russian nesting dolls (known as matryoshka).

We took a table at the window on the left, looking out onto the street and garden plaza.

Gorgeous waitress KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

With a firm hand on her Pistolet behind her back, Natasha finally smiled.

Yes, yes, Billy, she's gorgeous. Yes, we know (sheesh).

Especially compared to the mannequin in a gas mask behind her...! This woman is radiant.

Farther to the left here in the photo is a room built to look as a submarine. In case you might not know, I have a fear of drowning. Being in a submarine would not be my idea of a good time. Remember the foreign film Das Boot?

Gulp! Gulp!

Inside the submarine room KGB Russian Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Inside the submarine room

But, you know... we had to walk in to see it.

I really surprised myself by feeling a mild sense of panic. It was visceral, and I kept my eye on the door out into the open air bar which was behind me.

Silly as it may sound, I wasn't going to have my happy hour drink in this section of the bar.

In my mind I could hear the doors tightening and creaking, and I looked to the ceiling for leaks from the ocean.

(OMG.)

What an imagination!

The ceiling of the submarine room, KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Looking up to the ceiling in the submarine room

Flags, old porthole windows, some kind of torpedo, old Russian lights and wheels... even a scuba diver's outfit in the back.

The owner had been very attentive in his collection of Russian artifacts.

Famous Russian Leaders, KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Famous Russian leaders

I recognized Putin, Stalin and Lenin, but had to look up Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx.

No names were provided, assuming the viewer would know these famous men.

 

One thing was obvious, though. As time moved into modernity, the facial hair on these men became less and less.

eMore artifacts from Russian life, KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

More Russian memorabilia

Another likeness of Lenin, some street signs in Russian, walkie-talkies from a time gone by. Russian military hats, old liquor bottles, a gas mask and an old microphone.

Lots of detail!

Inside the KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

The first room at the KGB Bar

To the right is the entrance door and another window looking out to the street. To the left is the submarine room.

The main room at KGB was snug.

Right through the window here in the center was the street and then a church.

Russian memorabilia, KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

The main room showing the entrance to the submarine room

More flags, military hats, ice skates, signs, meters, clocks, and another mannequin in Russian uniform wearing a gas mask.

The oval entrance to the submarine room.

Inside the submarine room, KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Inside the submarine room, a closer look

Various wheels, gauges, lanterns, ship bells, life preservers and riveted panels belonging to a submarine.

I'm telling you, this is the closest I want to be to the inside of one of these seafaring machines.

I'm keeping a close eye on the door out, which is to my left here.

inside the KGB Bar, looking into a mirror, Cartagena, Colombia

Billy at our window seat at the KGB Russian Bar

Finally we were out of the submarine room and took a window table.

The man in the photo above Billy is “Mad Monk Rasputin.”

We watched horse driven carriages pass by outside, and gazed a bit into the small manicured plaza.

 

 

 

 

You have to give it to the owner, the Russian theme is authentic and continued throughout the bar. I have no idea where he collected his items but he was very diligent.

Russian "guard" on the outside of the KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Comrade Boris, another Russian Agent, watching the entrance to the KGB Bar

All waitstaff wore Russian-like attire. Mannequins were in several places dressed in uniforms, wearing gas masks, canteens and helmets of various sorts.

The street behind this young man was where the horse-drawn carriages passed by, and foot traffic was interesting.

We are Retire Lifestyle Mentors. Our goal is to help you achieve your retirement dreams.

There were groups of spontaneous rappers in Cartagena, earning their money by making up songs on-the-spot. We saw about half a dozen rappers outside our window seat discussing the fees they would charge, who they wanted to belong in their wandering group that night and who was to stay behind.

The conversation became quite animated as four young men walked off, leaving several behind to fend for themselves.

Our bill at the KGB Bar, Cartagena, Colombia

Our bill

Our bill including tip came to 65,000COP or about $20USD.

If you are wandering around Cartagena and want to see an eclectic collection of items from Russia's past, this bar is worth a visit.

Let us know what you think, and if you had the courage to take your drink in the submarine room! Most likely, it was no big deal to you, but we'd like to hear anyway.

Enjoy your trip to the KGB Russian Bar!

KGB Russian Bar

#38- a, Cra. 7 #38152

Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Open daily 10 am to 2 am

For more information on Colombia, with photos, stories and videos, click here

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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