Following on from a number of posts and closing a number of circles, I write about the opening of a new bar in San José.
The first post I will reference is this one called “Sad to see“. The bar El Velero has been given a new lease of life, a brand new name and an enormous facelift. El Velero was a nice traditional bar in the middle of San José that was down-to-earth and homely. The previous tenants decided not to renew their lease which left an enormous hole in San José.
Enter Robin & Sara, previous tenants of the bar El Duende in years gone by (see links page for details of this bar)… and actually previous tenants of our house also! Robin & Sara have worked hard in transforming the place into a more plush, luxurious but still down-to-earth bar called El Octopus.
The opening night or “inauguración” was last Friday but unfortunately I couldn’t go, however last night, I called in to see them and what a pleasant surprise it was. Firstly the decor; very simple clean white-washed walls, bright lights, though not to bright and nice chilled music, although I realise that the music does not constitute decor but it does much for the ambiance. There is an option for a more formal “sit-down” meal if you want but there is no obligation and a few of the tables were attractively set for this. There is a nice selection of about six different quality wines by the glass as well as a very good selection of wines by the bottle, including some wines from Almería – a rarity in San José and of course a range of beers! The tapas, very different from previous but every bit as good, delicious and mostly “casera” or homemade if you prefer.
Today I went back to take some photographs unfortunately we have not been blessed with the best of weather over the past few weeks but it was sunny enough to show off the bar in a nice light :-)
For me at least and others judging by how busy it was by the time I left last night, El Octopus is a welcome addition to San José and hopefully this will make some of the other bars up their game. I feel that San José lives on its past reputation sometimes and quality of service is sadly lacking and replaced by the attitude, “Well you are in San José” or as I have heard many times “normal for San José, as if this is a substitute for quality, in a similar way that when I hear the phrase “but it’s British made”, I know the standard will be low! A bit cynical I know but something I feel is true.
As for the other blog post I want to reference, well Robin & Sara were the previous owners of our cats Stumpy & Elsie, see “Cats“.