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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plaça Real: Have you heard of Ocaña? Now you have !

Restaurant Ocaña, bar Apotheke : nice place to go in Barcelona
Jose Perez Ocaña was able, in the 70's, to bring life and freedom to the Plaça Real. He was a naïf artist, bon vivant, born in Andalusia but settled in Barcelona. He was a leading figure in Barcelona in la ¨Movida¨ , the cultural movement which spread in Spain after Franco. He was  a transvestite, a lover of festivals, ambassador of ¨Manton¨, beautiful Spanish shawl and fan...He is still alive in many people's heart in the Catalan capital. And for that, the grand and breathtaking place Ocaña on Plaça Real opened its door in march 2012.

Ocaña is 1000 m of beautifully arranged space, they took 8 years to transfer this huge rubber stamp press into this magnificent place. It has many of the original features such as the glided columns and the meticulously restored wooden floor. I found it thanks to my younger cousin. I didn't know what to expect, he and his wife were sure I would love it and they were so very right. I went there, not knowing how big it was, where it was exactly and hadn't even heard of Jose Perez Ocaña. 

As soon as I entered I was transported to another world. We went, the first time directly to the bar downstairs. Oh!!! You think you are entering Ali Baba's cavern! It is just sublime! It is called Apotheke. It has a resplendent decoration, the stands where the bottles are kept come from an old pharmacy..from where its original name ! It has an oriental look, with dim candles, different sofas and corners, where you can chat and have a drink in a relaxed and heavenly atmosphere. The seats at the bar are of an old tractor
Danny, the handsome blond mixologist, manages this bar. He has a mix of different syrups, all made by him, herbs, spices, fruits...
You can have a disparate variety of exotic and unique cocktails.
The Gin Sour with mint or the Wasabi Martini are some of them.
There is also a club next to it.
The restaurant is upstairs. They have an open kitchen.
 It is a Catalan bistrot with a variety of Mediterranean flavors.   You are welcome on weekends by these two "sympaticos" transvestites as a tribute to Ocaña. 

On Sundays they serve brunch from 11am to 5pm. You will get some cocktails, virgin drinks, a rich mango laassi... Fluffy pancakes, veggie burger, eggs, homemade pastries, breads, jam...We went with our kids and they loved it.
We don't really have many brunch places in Barcelona and I highly recommend this one for vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well. 

And as for the Apotheke please do visit it, it is worth . I will surely go back...
Ocaña has indeed brought a new fresh air breeze to the old and beautiful square.

A day with BelleBarcelone

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