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Drink at Barcelona's "secret" bars
If that's not convincing enough, an article in today's Guardian points out that nightlife-lovers have yet another reason to visit Barcelona - a growing trend of "hidden" bars. In recent years an estimated 40-some-odd illegal drinking establishments have sprung up, thanks largely to the okupas, Spanish squatters who occupy the city's many empty buildings.
Spiraling housing costs have put buying or renting apartments out of reach for many Spaniards, who have taken to occupying empty buildings as a last resort. Some of the more enterprising squatters have created bars with their space, earning themselves some extra cash. A few spots to check out include:
- El Mariachi - a favorite hangout for the city's musicians, this quirky spot is nothing more than a few mismatched pieces of furniture. The real highlight is the cocktails, which include the Hydro-Miel, the house specialty mixed with honey. (Corner of Carrer dels Codols and Carrer d'en Rull, Barrio Gotico)
- El Armario - another tiny spot in the El Raval neighborhood. The name in Spanish means "wardrobe," which is accurate: you literally walk past the owner's clothing collection to get inside. (Carrer de la Riereta, El Raval)
- The Front Room - this bar, which does not seem to have an "official" name, occupies a small front room behind a tiny metal door on the Carrer d'en Carabassa. (Metal door opposite 5 Carrer d'en Carabassa, Barrio Gotico)