Viva Madrid is a classic old-style Madrid bar which dates from the turn of the last century. It is situated off the popular Plaza Santa Ana, near the 18th century Teatro Español. I have come across a couple of sites which say that the place used to popular with Ava Gardner and her lover, the Spanish bullfighter Manolete; even Orson Welles and Louis Armstrong used to pop in when they were in town. The walls of the bar are decorated in beautiful hand-decorated tiles and there is a huge zinc bar at entrance, where waiters swill out beer glasses under a constantly running water tap.
Manuel Fernádez González, 7
Plaza Santa Ana
5 thoughts on “Viva Madrid!”
“Faded glory”-type place in a neighbourhood with countless similar bars, peopled by a clique of (as it turned out) thoroughly unpleasant locals. The “tio” (uncle) of one of the bar staff – a fat, mannerless individual – unfortunately for us turned up while we had popped in for a quick beer. Amid much backslapping and laughter, aforementioned “uncle” passed wind disgustingly in our direction, making a play of running around lighting matches to presumably try and hide his own stench. When the cocky young barman then charged me 12 euros for four small beers (normal cost in this neighbourhood between 1 and 2 euros per beer), he was a bit startled that I questioned the price in Spanish (we live here and are fluent). “Sorry, but this is Madrid,” he brazenly told me. It isn’t Madrid, though – it’s just another second-rate music bar peopled by undesireables and bettered by many, many other bars in the area. So to sum up, unless you want to run the risk of having a “much-loved” local “character” pass wind in your face, and then pay through the nose (sorry) for the privilege, Viva Madrid is definitely one bar in the centre of Madrid to avoid, at all costs.
Thanks for the comments. Must admit that this does sound like odd behaviour! Beer does sound a little dear if it was a caña you were ordering. If it was a ‘doble’ then the price would sound more reasonable.
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