The secret retreat for those in the know in the center of San José is the café of the Teatro Nacional. The business is not seen easily from the street, and the imposing theater dissuades average passersby.
Inside the marble tables and imposing bar remind diners that the theater is the project of coffee barons before the turn of the 20th century.
Costa Rican artist Andrés Cañas is capitalizing on the intimate nature of the café. He has created hanging sculptures that are designed to capture and resemble the random phrases uttered by diners as they sip their coffee and eat their quiche.
There are 12 such figures hanging over the tables in the café and in a nearby gallery. They are made of expanded aluminum and acrylic, according to the theater. They include helices that gain life with the movement of the air. The show will be in the café until July 22 in the café.
The café is on the left side of the vestibule of the theater. It also is well known to theater goers who arrive early and enjoy a coffee and snack or a glass of wine at the intermission of some productions.