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OK, here's a follow-up to Tiki Chris' report. Photos to come.

Kahiki

To my surprise and delight, we first saw this Tiki bar on the airport bus into the center of Barcelona. As it turned out to be a relatively short walk from our hotel in the Gothic Quarter, we headed up there the first night. It's quite a large place which stretches back a long way, and is full of little alcoves. Like Tiki Chris, we couldn't understand why much of the wall space was taken up by odd far-eastern (?) murals, but was impressed by the large pottery masks next to the stairs which perfectly summed up the relationship between Tiki culture and the decor of 70's Spain. The menu was a treat, and soon had me drooling, for the mugs rather than the drinks themselves. Each and every mug was made in Spain and the majority were of designs not found in the US. A little Anglo-Spanish haggling, and I managed to buy the mug I wanted. A few locals were propped up at the bar, and
a number of tables were filled, despite it being a Thursday night. The bar staff were very friendly and it made an ideal starting point for checking out the Tiki bars of Barcelona despite being a little lacking in the Tiki department. A good a selection of mugs as any of them, mind you.

Kahala

The Kahala was quite a way out from the center of tourist Barcelona, though there were a lot of big hotels nearby. It took me quite a while to walk there just from the nearest subway station. (It didn't help that I wandered a few blocks in the wrong direction. Note to self -take a compass on city breaks). Turns out that it's a really nice place. Once again, large, with lots
of alcoves and a damn fine selection of Tiki mugs. I'd brought along the printout from the previous Barcelona thread, and before long the bartender Sandy couldn't do enough to help me out, taking out an old copy of Tiki News (Left by Otto?) when I was trying to explain that I'd be writing about the bar.
I told the other bartender that there were women in the US who'd seen his photo and were drooling, so he immediately took my printout over to a pair of young ladies sipping rum concoctions nearby to boast about it. Turns out one of them was his girlfrend. Sorry Purple Jade!

Nice place with a Maori/Spanish vibe. Once again, there was a cool area where the 70's pottery/tile craze melded seamlessly with Tiki. Mug selection was large, with one or two different ones from the Kahiki. Very friendly and probably a lot of fun at the weekend.

Part 2 (The Aloha) next message

Trader Woody

Aloha

Well, I found the Aloha after a bit of a trek from the Kahala, so rumours of it turning into a shoe-shopare thankfully untrue. The entranceway contains a small menangerie of birds, along with a pool that
I understand used to contain turtles. Unfortunately the pool has long been drained, but perhaps they fill it back up in the summertime.

Inside there's a nice long bar, behind which are the usual mouth-watering collection of mugs. It's a really nice place. Quite dark, with rows of little 'bamboo-hut' style seating areas which stretch all the way to the back of the bar. Not as Maori as the Kahala, but a real Tiki feel to the place.
The Aloha actually has a little glass case full of mugs you could buy, and of course I indulged, getting a fine Cook Islands style mug, a very cool & wierd head mug, plus one of the Aloha's huge ceramic ashtrays in the shape of a Tiki head. (Pic's to follow). I was also given a neat little ceramic
Tiki medallion with 'Aloha Barcelona' written on it. Once again, the bartenders were really cool. They had a copy of 'City in Space' behind the bar, and one (name slipped past me) came over and had his dinner break with me. We took a whole bunch of photos, so hopefully these will give a better idea of the place.

So, I was impressed by all three bars. All of them were dimly lit with an incredible mug selection and great private seating areas as well as long bars. They could only have been built in 70's Barcelona yet remained very Tiki. And the staff of all three were very helpful, charming & friendly.

My advice to anyone thinking of going to Barcelona is to see them all, taking the Kahiki first. Make sure you have them mapped out carefully before you try to find them, and even then go by cab. And if you want mugs, the Aloha is the best set-up for buying them. Friday's & Saturdays are
very busy, other days much less so. These aren't tourist joints, so expect the bartenders to speak less English than those who serve you in the Gothic Quarter or the Ramblas. Drinks seem to cost about $5.50 each.

A more substantial report will appear in an up-coming edition of "Eye of the Tiki", the guide to Tiki culture in Europe (plug plug.)

Pictures to follow once I get the prints and CD back from the developers!

Trader Woody

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:27 ]

On 2003-03-14 04:19, Trader Woody wrote:
Like Tiki Chris ...

Unlike Tiki Chris, you were able to find the Aloha Bar! Good for you! Can't wait to see the pics.

Aside from the tiki bars, what'd ya think of Barcelona?

Purple Jade - Well I might be able to post a picture of his girlfriend, which may give you a few seconds advantage if you ever meet!

Tiki Chris - I really enjoyed Barcelona, particularly as it was Carnival the whole time we were there. There's a LOT to do there, and it's a lot bigger than expected. I loved the old bars near the Picasso museum in particular. I must admit to preferring Madrid, though, as the people are a lot more friendly and a lot more Spanish! We talked to a few Brits working out there and they said that the whole Catalan deal is a pain in the ass, and they don't have the same zest for fun as the rest of Spain. Lovely city, though.

Trader Woody

Z
Zeta posted on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 10:15 PM

Trader Woody, I agree... Barcelona is spectacular but Madrid is more fun... More spanish, more bars... mas fiesta! Most of the people don't "get" Madrid... It is about walking the streets and getting lost... Plus, they don't give "tapas" (bar snacks) in Barcelona... Pamplona is the best city in Spain anyway... jeje... And then Bilbao and then San Sebastian.
Salud!

T

I agree Zeta, Barcelona seemed more cosmopolitan to me, while Madrid seemed more classic Spanish. I need to check out those other cities you mentioned.

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