The war story goes something like this: the city government, in an effort to discourage private entities from getting into debt in the name of culture, prevents live music from playing the prominent role in Barcelona nightlife that local groups (and music lovers) are dying for, by laying down increasingly strict regulations. One of the few places that once gave life to the city, El Clandestino – which in little more than a year and a half had become one of the epicentres of local music – was dismantled.
Gràcia's Roxanne is the most recent victim, and we offer our condolences and our rage. This fight is fierce and we will not surrender. We are like weeds: no matter how much you pull us up by our roots, we will continue sprouting up through every crack and crevice. We will win because we’ve got nothing to lose. They do: the next election.
The staff of El Clandestino – Dani, Jorge, Ghenadie and Berta – have come back with El Rufián, a Poble-sec locale specialising in beers, vermouth, and aperetifs. The ingredients are simple: a cosy spot with modest aesthetics, excellent music, a friendly atmosphere and premium drinks – dark Moritz (not Epidur) from the barrel, La Secuita vermouth, olives and anchovies from L’Escala, tomatoes preserved in pesto from Navarra …
Saturdays and Sundays are a party: go in for some vermouth and you’ll find a great place to meet kindred spirits spending the afternoon in good company. Conversation is flowing and energetic, the house beer – a mix of pale and dark – flows like water, and a feeling of solidarity is guaranteed: we band together and continue reclaiming Barcelona for Barcelonans, not for its government.