A glimpse of Barcelona’s real nightlife.
Want to catch of a glimpse of Barcelona’s real nightlife, then head for El Mariatchi. If you manage to find it that is, not an easy task by any standard. This tiny, colourful, quirky bar is a well guarded secret in Barcelona. Rumour has it that it was originally one of those clandestine bars that were set up across the city by squatters and political anarchists.
Located on the corner of Carrer dels Codols and Carrer d’en Rull this hidden gem just off Plaza George Orwell has a laid back, unpretentious atmosphere. They serve beer and all the usual stuff, but the real highlight here are the cocktails, which include the Hydro-Miel, the house specialty. Hydro-Miel is made by fermenting a solution of water, honey and spices, the recipe being secret of course, although I detected some cinnamon in the mix.
The smell and taste of honey wine and Manu Chao.
It brought back the smell and taste of honey wine. Historically honey wine was used in rites of passage and I wondered if there was some connection between the Hydro-Miel and my rite of passage from just being a tourist to experiencing something outside the tourist bubble, the real, authentic Barcelona. I call myself fortunate that I was there when owner Manu Chao was jamming. This is how music should be, friends jamming together for the fun of it!
Are you a Manu Chao fan than I don’t have to tell you anything, in case not, a bit of info. Manu Chao (1961 ) was born in Paris to a Galician writer father and his Basque mother, who is an engineer. Multilingual and decidedly multicultural he seems to be at home everywhere. After a short stint in Madrid and extensive travels all over the world with his bands Mano Negra and La Ventura, Manu settled down in Barcelona, where the alternative music scene got a boost after his arrival. Maybe that is one of the reasons why El Mariatchi is the favourite hangout for Barcelona’s musicians. If you are lucky you can see Manu Chao himself jamming the night away. The impromptu jam sessions can start anytime, depending on who’s present and wants to jam.
A good source of information.
In general El Mariatchi is a place where you go to unwind or to relax with good friends over a drink. Consider it a good place to start or end the night. Oh, I forgot to mention that it is also a good source of information about secret or illegal concerts. Concerts in Barcelona are promoted for the most part through word-of-mouth. In El Mariachi you can easily find somebody willing to provide you with some good tips and sometimes you can buy the tickets at the bar.
If you are not in Barcelona you can take a look at the forum and website of Radio Chango (where the creative mind of Manu Chao also interferes): http://www.radiochango.com/english/
Carrer dels Còdols 14,