Bodega La General
C/ Vapor Vell, 12
08028 Barcelona, Sants
Tue- Thu: 16-0h
Curious fate found Gorka and Edgar hustling tapas together in the classic Bodega La Palma. They got along. Both knew their stuff, having logged countless hours working in and even opening bars, restaurants and bodegas that, at the end of the day, weren’t theirs. And, thus, they had had plenty of time to observe (and gripe about) how things should or shouldn’t be done, how people should or shouldn’t be treated. The missing ingredient, of course: a place of their own to put this accumulated wisdom to the test. As you might have guessed, mon chéri, that place is Bodega La General.
La General sits in a sheltered corner of Vapor Vell, a modern library named after Sants’ first textile factory. The chimney is all that’s left, and all but disappears against the surrounding buildings’ orange brick, but the location is special. Once you find it (tricky), you’ll remember it ever after as a go-to bar, central but hidden just enough to stay local and with a measure of calm (unlike Plaça d’Osca).
The bodega, formerly a marble slab shop, got a full makeover. The beloved large window swings up and open at the front, leaving a long bar looking out onto the plaza. An altillo sees little use at present as their excellent terrace is the place to be, but the time will come for cozy. Framed portraits (by María del Pozo) feature family and friends that have left their mark on Bodega La General. Gorka’s grandmother is there, for an ajoarriero recipe she passed to her daughter, who passed it on to her son. Edgar’s mother and father are there, respectively for callos and mermelada de pimiento. His sister-in-law as well, as she selects and preps the anchovies. And so on… The boys do the rest, rotating specials to keep things interesting, incorporating other friends’ or neighbors’ recipes, keeping it fresh. One big happy family, and you’ll feel a part of it immediately. This is the next generation in service.