A metropolis is an organism on fast-forward, in a permanent state of flux — there are planning solutions imposed from above, and the spontaneous, organic rhythms of the city itself. And the way the two interact is what ultimately shapes neighbourhoods, streets and squares — because, as Valéry wrote, 'two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder'. C/ d'en Robador in the Raval has suffered plenty of changes recently: the city council became obsessed with 'cleaning it up', driving out the prostitutes and giving the whole street a facelift — too near the centre of town and the tourists to be so raw and real — and last summer, one of its most notorious last-night bars, La Bata de Boatiné, lowered its shutters for the last time, leaving a large chunk of the city's alternative LGBT population bereft. Popular bars that seemed to have been around forever have shut up shop, and others have taken their place — La Robadora is an example — aimed at a clientele with fatter wallets than the locals.
Now Maria, of tapas bar La Casa de la Pradera, and Krishna, of Chelo café — two other Raval venues — have decided to take on what was previously a micro-theatre venue, and turn it into a tapas bar: Manolito. The first thing that strikes you when you arrive is the luminous interior. The open-plan space is bathed in light from the large windows at the back, which turn it into a glowing haven in a district of dark, narrow back streets.
Wooden floorboards and tables add to the comfortable sensation, as does the friendly and easy-going service. Manolito offers dishes like fried aubergines with honey (€3.50) and freshly squeezed juices made from ingredients including apple, carrot and ginger (€4). They have plenty of daily specials, and also serve sandwiches and salads. Reasonable prices, bike parking at the back, light, good food, and atmosphere: could you ask for more?
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu 9am-1am. Fri 9am-2am. Sat 10am-2am. Sun 10am-1am|
|Transport:||Liceu (M: L3)|