Bars, bars and more bars
Despite temperatures consistently in the mid to high 30s here in the valley, the past couple of weeks have seen a flurry of activities on the bar front.
You may recall that we got rather excited in May when we learned that a new bar had opened in the neighbouring village of Restábal. Well, since writing that particular post, there have been a few developments. I know that this may not sound like the most earth-shattering news, but here it is momentous.
On a recent visit to Bar Lola, the new establishment in Restábal, we were greeted by the family in an excited manner, and the news was imparted that they were going to take over the restaurant in Albuñuelas called Tres Lindes. Tres Lindes has been around for as long as I have been visiting the Lecrin Valley (some 20 years), and it has passed through various hands, some of which have managed the place successfully, others less so. The last managers just couldn’t quite make it work - the tapas was variable, and it got less busy and in time, the decision was taken to call it a day. I think that this decision was expedited by the landlord’s imposition of a fairly hefty rent, but this I cannot confirm.
So, at one stage, it did look as though Albuñuelas was to go from having 3 bar/restaurants to having just one, as rumour has it that Señor Montoro (dueno of the eponymous little bar opposite Tres Lindes) is on the verge of retiring. Certainly, on our last visit, we felt that his heart was, perhaps, not really in the business of hospitality any longer….
The Valley looked as if it were to became a drier old place.
However, the news that Lola and her family were to try and make a go of Tres Lindes was exciting, and we have been to wish them enhorabuena and buena suerte. Initially, we were told that the family would be maintaining their presence in Restábal, but since opening at Tres Lindes, I think they have realised that that might not be sustainable, so Bar Lola may well be changing hands yet again.
The machinations of Lola and family notwithstanding, we have more exciting news. Salaries now has a bar! We are beside ourselves with excitement.
Saleres used to have a bar in the small main plaza, and this was managed, most recently, by the apparently irrepressible Alessandra, a lady of Italian origin who did run a very popular hostelry. The problem was that it became slightly too popular, and the introduction of live music didn’t go down too well with the villagers. Saleres is a tiny village; the main square is tiny and any loud noises reverberate through the narrow lanes ensuring that every inhabitant enjoys an amplified version of whatever is going on. So, before we arrived here, Alessandra had upped sticks and moved to Nigüelas where there is evidently more of an appetite for a bit of a late night bop.
Saleres, therefore, was left barless. The only place for community get-togethers was the church, so despite this being a bight little community, there was no focal point.
However, we heard rumour from our neighbour that the bar was to reopen, under the management of a local chap called Kaiser, and sure enough, on the appointed Saturday, we ventured into the square to see a couple of tables and parasols and some signs of action. Some ladies of the village appeared bearing cakes and pastries, presumably some sort of inauguration gift, and these were duly handed around. The sense of community had already increased tenfold, as we were finally able to meet, and chat to, some of our fellow villagers. I assume they know all about us already, but we know very little about them.
Kaiser is a hugely welcoming chap and, by his own admission, there is work to be done to get the bar fully operational. However, this Saturday sees the formal inauguration with the promise of free Sangria, food, music and dance. We have guests arriving on Friday and have dinner planned for Saturday night, but we will undoubtedly trot along there before the evening is over. We will support this bar, and Tres Lindes in Albuñuelas, as much as we can. As in any corner of the world, enterprise is to be encouraged, and we both really wish Kaiser and Lola and her family every success. Bars in these parts are an important ingredient in village life, and they do provide the setting for people to come together for a catch-up. We can also practice our Spanish - always more fluent after a couple of cañas!
SNIPPETS: these past couple of weeks, Spain has been subjected to a heatwave. Granada has regularly topped 40 degrees, and here in the valley, the days are clear, hot and sunny. At the moment, we love this weather, but I know it can be tricky, and the risk of fires in the campo can be great (Portugal's recent tragedy was such an example). We have also noticed that its is not the best idea to drink alcohol in the middle of the day, or even on a hot evening! Clara (shandy) and Tinto de Verano are definitely de rigueur.
We are about to buy a car! More of this later....