There are plenty of the regular pubs in Barcelona, hec you can buy alcohol from almost anywhere, but if you’re looking for somewhere quiet (at least before the late night crowd gets in), a small little place that’s kind of cool and hip, then you’ll find a few of these in the backstreets just behind Plaza Reial. Here’s a few.
A dark small cocktail bar which, when first walking in, strikes you as some sort of brothel. The low lighting mood is set to red. Lovers can sit in the back corner almost totally unnoticed, except from me, like the couple who laughed, kissed and cuddled their way through their drinks. While singles like myself sit on the high stools up front perving on the gorgeous chica behind the bar.
Right next door to Sub Rosa is Sugar Bar. Like its neighbour, this one is tiny, possibly accommodating no more than 30 people before it becomes a tight squeeze. A mix of funky music plays throughout. I was expecting the gorgeous and the beautiful of the Barcelona locals, but on my 2 visits over two nights, the place was packed full of British teenagers (of drinking age, I’m sure) who were on holidays from the University of Kent’s architecture program. They are loud, chanting football songs every now and then. A couple of boys impress the girls by doing push-ups, for God’s sake, while the young girls do their best to pretend like young sophisticates except that they keep asking for the cheapest beer. They have little money. The bar staff aren’t impressed and only shake their heads.
My company at the time notwithstanding, Sugar Bar is still recommended. The young Brits, by the way, were surprisingly very polite.
Walking out of Sugar Bar and heading towards Plaza George Orwell, on your right you should find the Pipe Club. This is a larger joint, well-lit, but softly, and with colourful, funky décor. It’s a kind of homage to the sixties. “Love” is printed on wall on the left as you walk in. The place also has the feel of someone’s lounge room as the furniture seems to be mismatched. Even the bar in the middle looks to have been assembled in someone’s garage. My foot nearly knocked over the panelling!
It was also in the Pipe Club that I found Moritz, perhaps Barcelona’s most decent beer, not that tasteless Victoria Bitter-like Estrella Dam.
I found this one during the day while I was out and about getting myself lost and resolved to find it again later that night. It’s right Plaza George Orwell. Oviso seems like the place frequented by a mix of that “alternative” crowd. Actually, I’ve no idea what you call them, but think nose rings (the two female waiters had them), dreadlocks, skateboards and so on. A couple, tourists like me, sitting on the long bench along the back wall (he wore chinos and she, one of those expensive-looking rain jackets) sat wide-eyed and lost, as if frightened. That said, anyone is welcome. The place is cool.