Hark! What do I hear? Is that clique-free human engagement in a bar in el Born? Are those elderly Spanish men debating the future (or lack thereof) of España with a young woman and another, younger, man? Is this authentic bodega culture? Hath it survived? Yes! Did this vino just cost me 1,50€? Yes!! (Medianas and vermuts as well, compañero.) A round of applause for Santiago, an Uruguayan with a sense of culture, warmth, justice and, oddly enough, Spain. For a year he’s been running La Bodega, a bastion of the old Barcelona tucked away from Haciendas and other purely touristic shite. The books littered around the place are free to take if you promise never to throw one away, but to pass it on if you’re done. The wall’s available to local artists (small format), the tapeo is cheap, and the charla is gold. The old guard comes in almost daily to discutir, says Santiago. His bar? “Ni frío, ni pop modernista.”
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