Here is my updated map showing the cafes and bars in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona. This isn’t part of the tourist area of Barcelona. The shaded triangular area shown is a shopping district with a variety of shops dotted throughout it, along with 30 or more little cafes and bars and restaurants. To the north and west and east there is mostly residential property. The shopping area extends southward beyond the Carretera Cornella. The land slopes gently from the north.
I found 6 new cafes and bars (numbered 30 to 35) Two were bread and pastry shops with non-smoking cafeterias attached. Cuca de Llum was a shop selling novelties, with a couple of tables in one corner. Dos Punts Menys was a long narrow bar with a small facade which I’d simply never noticed before.
Three bars were crossed off the list. The Bar Primavera had long closed and become a private house. The owner of the Bar Maria Jose had been hospitalised some time back. And the Cantina Granja had closed 9 months previously. But all their signs were still in place. The Avenc Centre Cultural was also closed, but only for renovations.
Several of these cafes and bars, shown below, have been regular haunts of mine. The Cafetaria Restaurant La Caseta, right next to the hotel, has long been the first cafe of my day. Its mirrored walls create a succession of cafeterias on both sides which vanish into the distance, and suggest that it is part of a huge circular restaurant. Dos Punts Menys is a long narrow bar, widening to the rear. In this respect it’s quite like La Jarra y La Pipa Taberna, which could almost be an ill-lit English pub.
The Bar Restaurant Canarias is probably a traditional restaurant, with middle aged men drinking coffee or wine propping up the bar, and families dropping in for a snack at the wooden tables between the tiled walls. It has a couple of coat hooks made of goats’ hooves.
The strangest and quirkiest of the bars is the Cafe el Cau de les Arts, which is actually a furniture restorer, but also sells painting and oil paints as well as coffee. It has a rather strange assortment of furniture on its stone floor, and some elaborate chandeliers hanging from its ceiling.
The more modern Chicco D’Oro seems to be frequented by younger people. Middle-aged women seemed to be the principal customers at the non-smoking Ciabatta and Clarita cafes.
Almost all the cafes and bars seemed to have customers. Visiting the tiny Granja Pireneu, with only three tables inside it, I found all three occupied. La Pipa and Dos Punt Menys were both empty when I visited them, perhaps because one is on the other side of the wide Carretera Cornella, and the other is in a pedestrian passage with few shops in it. In the past I’ve seen La Pipa chock full in the evenings. The Bar Canarias was always busy. L’Avenc (when it was open) was also always busy.
||Dos Punts Menys
||La Jarra y La Pipa
|El Cau de les Arts
I suppose that the main thing I learned was that what I’d thought were non-smoking cafes were in fact shops selling bread and cakes and pastries with a few tables, at which perhaps to enjoy a few of them, fresh from the oven.
If the smoking ban drives customers outside, much as it has done in the UK, I’d expect those bars and restaurants with outside seating (or pavement space available for it) to keep their customers. The Andurina and the Granja L’Estel both have outside seating in an adjoining square. The bars on either side of the Carretera Cornella, with its wide pavements, would be able to provide outside seating if they don’t have any already. L’Avenc, with a large seated area outside, will probably survive easily.
However, it seems that there is to be a smoking ban in public parks, and within 100 metres of them, and also within 100 metres of hospitals and schools. That might render many pavement smoking areas in Esplugues illegal.
But there seem to be several smokers’ organisations in Spain. Fumador Respetuoso whose main man seems to be Javier Blanco Urgoiti (who has a Facebook page), and who drew my attention to the Catalan nightlife Ocio Nocturno Fecalon. And today in comments Stephanie of el Gran Jaguar has drawn my attention to the Federacion Espanola de Hostelerias, which appears to be calling for child-free smoking rooms. It has a section (in Spanish) devoted to the smoking ban.
Anyway, I hope this snapshot of Esplugues proves useful. I’d like to return and see how the cafes and bars are doing post-ban. Personally I hope they all survive. And that they do so by revolting against the ban.