This bar is owned and run by Javier Cejas, the creator of the iconic Benidorm bar and the owner of Negroni (another really cool place!) This is a Tiki Cocktail bar in the heart of the Raval district in Barcelona, but you wont find garish Hawaiian shirts on the bartenders (they wear thin ties and white shirts) and gaudy decoration, in fact, its hard to find any cliches at all! the decor is simple, with plain green walls and the bar is a deep red, jun fact, the only nod to its heritage are the photos on the wall of exotic faraway places, and the Tiki mugs…oh, and of course the wonderful cocktails available.
The other furniture is typical of a 1950´s American diner, and not a colorful flower in sight! My friends and I go to this bar quite often, as we love tattoos and Americana and this place has elements of both. The Tiki culture was created in the 1930´s by people like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, pioneers who brought the exotic to America using their unique mixtures of spirits (mainly rum) and this tradition is proudly continued here.
The founder of the Tiki bar was a sort of bucaneer during the Prohibition era in America, the rum was provided by the infamous Speakeasys that appeared during this time. During those exciting years of smuggling, sea and adventure, the young Ernest, as well as living numerous adventures also accrued a wealth of knowledge in rums. When prohibition was abolished in the 1930´s, Don the Beachcomber returned to California and ended up in McCadden Place, Hollywood, where he promptly established his legendary bar Don the Beachcomber, and from that day forward this is how he was known, Don had been born!the bar was decorated with things that he had collected on his travels from places like Hawaii, Tahiti, Polynesia.
This ambience took the bars patrons to a fantastical place full of vibrance, life and colour, far away from the dreary reality of city living. Don began serving in his bar cocktails based fresh fruit juices, spices and rum in them and prepared homemade syrups that accentuated the flavour and gave it his own personal touch.
His talent was undeniable, and its success was spreading like wildfire. Their homemade preparations, natural juices, the successful use of rum as the combined and the use of its famous Tiki Mug, containers made with ceramics inspired by Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Due to his success people started stealing his recipes, Don considered himself an artist, and so never really considered a cocktail finished, so these weak copies offended him!.
This meant that Don became more secretive about the preparations and who he hired, this is when Victor appeared, who had fallen in love with cocktails, Don and his fantasy realm. This started out well, however Victor had ambition and wanted to create a chain of cocktail bars which was flatly refused by Don. Victor started experimenting with his own recipes until he was caught and sacked by Don.
After being fired, Victor traveled the Caribbean, returned to the United States and founded his own place Trader Vic's. The most famous Tiki Cocktail the Mai Tai is often credited to Victor, although in fact it was a mixture of both Don, and Vic! . But the truth is that the secret of a good Mai Tai, besides rum, is the Orgeat.
The history of the Tiki bars is marked by wars. After the second World War the American soldiers returned home and wanted to keep drinking the stuff they had found around the Pacific, this was also a time when the economy was thriving and Hollywood was at its peak. This meant that Trader Vic made his dream happen, and made his franchise, whilst Don got divorced and lost everything and went to Hawaii to do what he loved and make cocktails! This fairytale continued until the war in Vietnam, when suddenly the exotic was not so cool and all the bars changed their style.
In fact, the only reason these bars are around today is that Beachbum Berry spent over twenty years investigating and finding the lost recipes, often from the old bartenders who had kept their notebooks from the Beachcomber Don days! The cool thing about these type of cocktails is that the ingredients are fresh, and they are homemade.
The menu in Tahiti bar has a wide range of cocktails, with both alcoholic and non alcoholic options available so there is something for everybody. I recommend this bar if you are looking for a fun place to go with a chilled out vibe, and just remember to take your Raval sunglasses to protect you from all the loud Hawaiian shirts! (these are normally worn by my friends!!) All in all a great place to have a good time, a warning though! the next day you will probably have a headache!!! I personally recommend the BALD BASTARD SWIZZLE An earthly god gave its name to this drink worthy of him. Lim, syrups, spices and rum! its lovely but will knock your head off!
- Address: Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 39, 08001 Barcelona
-Opening times: Wednesday 19: 00-2: 30 Thursday 19: 00-2: 30 Friday 19: 00-2: 30 Saturday 19: 00-2: 30 Sunday Closed closed Monday Tuesday 19: 00-2: 30
Tip: I would recommend getting to this place early, as its quite small and gets busy! definitely a place worth a visit whilst in Barcelona!