Cafetería Hinojar has been open 24 hours a day every day for 40 years and hasn’t changed a bit.
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.
Here are some photos showing the character of this beautiful 70s bar:
- Address: Paseo Acacias 3
- Nearest metro: Embajadores
- Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 24 hours a day