Historic bars of Barcelona and interior design (VOL I, 1786-1897)
Interior design and design have always been closely linked to the essence of Barcelona. The historical bars of Barcelona speak, in a way, also of this passion for design and, even today, we can find authentic relics that practically are like history books.
In Barcelona, design has not only been present since the 80s, where there was a great boom of artists and studios that ended up reaffirming with the celebration of the Olympics. Its history is much more extensive and the decoration of old bars attests to it.
This route through the interior design in Barcelona will be done through the bars, those public spaces that remain in the collective imagination and, after all, are those that, when we look at the past, we all remember.
These lines imply on our part a thank you to the references of interior design in Barcelona and a tribute to the environments and walls of these mythical locals, leaving aside their culinary wonders, which we do not touch or know how to value.
We will review in this first volume, the first five places where we want to focus our attention. It all starts over 200 years ago.
Interior design, bars and restaurants
When we go to a restaurant or bar to enjoy its offer, few of us think about the interior design. However, becoming aware of is not an element that defines the culture of the place, often very thoughtful and studied in detail. However, when we come across the decoration of old bars, something goes on in the diners, they make them carefully observe the walls and finishes of their interiors.
The design bars in Barcelona have always been present, adapting to all times and embracing the decorative trends of each time, their durability over time makes us can compare styles with contemporaries. That is why the decoration of old bars, in our opinion, should be maintained at all costs, provided if it’s safe and viable.
So in a way, this article is a capital and bold ode to the historic bars in Barcelona.
Located in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona, the second oldest restaurant in Spain and the first in Catalonia is considered by the guiness book of records, so we are facing the oldest bar in Barcelona. The walls of this place have relics in the form of photos and pictures hanging on the walls of its spacious premises.
Despite not having a clear intention to be a reference in terms of interior design in restoration, its value lies in the appreciation of the old and the history that houses its chairs and its decoration.
The Marseille Bar is included in the list of the oldest and historic bars of Barcelona. Its aesthetics attests to it, retaining almost entirely the classic interior design style of the time. Due to the passage of time, it might seem like a decadent bar through its doors, however Hemingway, Picasso, Gaudí or Dalí did not think that, as they were frequent customers.
His style is clearly Modernist and may well make us feel like a secret member of the time, belonging to some secret organization against the restoration of the moment in which it was inaugurated.
Located on Paseo Isabel II, it was a large cafe with seven doors for the public and an octave for the staff. Later, in 1929 it was renamed the current name Restaurant de les 7 portes.
The place has a classic-style interior decoration perfectly maintained, rooms with plenty of natural lighting and a great historical load. During the month of December the kitchen remodeling was completed, having combined the works with the normal activity of the restaurant.
Perhaps the most prominent of this first set in terms of interior design in Barcelona, its antiquity and perfect conservation help to appreciate it. The decoration of the place is centuries-old and clearly modernist, making use of the combination of marble with wood, very typical of the interior decoration of the time.
The bar is divided into two different environments. In one you can see the decoration and architecture of the time, while the second is the result of the adaptations that were made in 1977.
Pere Romeu, a young Barcelona man who lived for a while in Paris and discovered Le Chat Noir, wanted to create a very close concept in Barcelona. From that will was born Els 4 gats. There passed names like Santiago Rusiñol or Pablo Picasso, the latter was the one who designed the menu in 1900, making it one of the design bars in Barcelona at that time.
So Els 4 gats was an unusual place, starring artistic details that combined with traditional objects. Little by little it became a place of pilgrimage for everyone who passed through Barcelona. Its interior design, possibly called only decoration at that time, was characteristic. In fact we are facing a case where the food served was not the best of the place, but its main attraction was the character of a forum of literature and culture, always full of art and personalities. Today it is one of the most historic bars in Barcelona.