No-frills bars

The bar that hasn’t closed in 40 years

25 July 2016
Upstairs on the mezzanine is the dining area with antique paintings

Cafetería Hinojar has been open 24 hours a day every day for 40 years and hasn’t changed at all.

The cash till is from 1976, as are the weighing scales; the brown streaked tiles fashionable in the 70’s are original, and the owner’s prized paintings from the Rastro in the mezzanine upstairs are over 100 years old.

Like Hinojar, many traditional Spanish bars in Madrid have a mirror covering one or more walls. This gives an illusion that the bar is bigger, but even more so, the impression of opulence. Mirrors used to be very expensive, so to have a mirrored wall in a bar made it seem a very fine establishment. For example, a café on Castellana appropriately named ‘El Espejo’ (the mirror) is one of the most high-end cafes in Madrid.

It’s Thursday evening in Cafetería Hinojar and the owner and his colleague are wearing the classic uncompromising waiting attire: a white shirt and black trousers, and are about to switch shifts. A regular comes in ahead of his night shift and not a single word has been exchanged before his coffee and churros are on the bar in front of him.

The terrace is quickly building up its clientele, mostly of young couples, and in between service of cervezas and spiced green olives, the owner is catching a cheeky cigarette break in the cupboard next to the bar. Why he doesn’t smoke outside like his colleague, we’ll never know.

Below is a gallery showing the character of this beautiful 70’s bar:

The fading photo menus and old scales

The fading photo menus and old scales

Hinojar's brown striped tiles, fading photo menus and spirit collection

Hinojar’s brown striped tiles, fading photo menus and spirit collection

Upstairs to the mezzanine for the dining area and tea

Upstairs to the mezzanine for the dining area and tea

Upstairs on the mezzanine is the dining area with antique paintings

Upstairs on the mezzanine is the dining area with antique paintings

Spanish green olives - the most Madridleño tapa

Spanish green olives – the most Madridleño tapa

Cafetería Hinojar's classically designed front

Cafetería Hinojar’s classically designed front

INFO

  • Address: Paseo Acacias 3
  • Nearest metro: Embajadores
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 24 hours a day

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