Until recently, Mendizábal was one of the most unclassifiable spots in the Raval. It was a bar that wasn’t a bar. To clarify – it was a bar that didn’t have any premises. ‘The Mendi’ was a hole in the wall at the corner where Junta de Comerç meets Hospital. Its ‘interior’ was actually exterior, specifically the tiny Plaça del Canonge Colom, a square with no view to speak of, where the Mendi set up its chairs and tables. The bar’s uniqueness and position on one of the neighbourhood’s key thoroughfares converted it into a flagship of this multi-ethnic area. But the time finally came for the Mendi to grow and answer the prayers of its many fans who no longer wanted their extremities to freeze when having a drink there in winter.
So now it has a real interior space. And it’s amazing. The new covered part of Mendizábal, open just next to the legendary bar, is first-class. Simply decorated, with lots of stone and brick on display, the room has a clear Scandinavian influence, but hasn’t renounced any Raval pride. The wooden tables and chairs along with the extremely clean design invite you to enjoy a beer, cocktail or top-notch sandwich without having to deal with the hordes of night creatures who populate the neighbourhood.
You can drink fresh juices, wine, gin and tonics, various classic cocktails – the list is short but reliable – or the magnificent beers of different sizes, with the half-litre option the trophy for true cervesa champions. To eat, tapas, salads and sandwiches each created with the signature in-house quality are all dead certs in a place that’s changed without changing. The Mendi isn’t the Mendi anymore, it’s much more than that now – a rescue vessel for Raval explorers in need of shelter.