Tuesday, 7th April 2020

This Month's Magazine
Buying & Running an English Bar on the Costa

Buying & Running an English Bar on the Costa

Are you feeling the urge?

It’s a known fact, and I am sure there is a scientific term for it, that the average hard working “Brit” reaches a certain age and suddenly develops an almost obsessive urge to buy and run a bar in Spain.

The more intelligent push this obsession to the back of their minds and content themselves with merely looking up a few bargain buys such as “a goldmine” or “an
excellent investment” Spanish bars on eBay.

There are however the weaker willed, slightly crazy, daft b*****ds who actually go out and buy one! Before you know it, that cockroach ridden, fly infested, health hazard on the corner, that Jose has been trying to pass on to any gullible twat since Franco turned up his toes, has suddenly become the newly named, no expense spared, latest new “English Bar” Back in England, if you want to own or even in fact any premises that require a full ‘on licence’, the law requires that you attend
a whole plethora of courses and drinks licences are no longer given out willy-nilly.

Quite stringent checks are carried out on anybody applying, so if Sweeney Todd can no longer get a licence to run a public house in England, the devil still rides him/her to become ‘mein host’ and it’s only natural that his/her thoughts will eventually turn to little Britain on the Costa del Sol, Spain.

To be fair, there are a few British bar owners here, who ran pubs back home, on the whole these people make equally as good a job of it in Spain as they did in England, but for every professional landlord there are always three ex lorry drivers, hairdressers or road sweepers chancing their arm at it.

The first and most obvious obstacles encountered by these entrepreneurial halfwits are the language, buying the bar, doing it up, getting fliers printed and finally throwing open the doors to the hordes of well behaved, pay for every round, go home quietly customers you are sure you are going to get. All of this can be done without having to utter a single ‘por favor’. However, sooner or later, a Spaniard or two are going to wander in, order a ‘wikky’ and cover your new floor in sunflower seeds.


Well, this is Spain, after all! The very sight of a Spaniard should not fill you with fear. Mind you, fair play for the professional landlords who join a course in the Spanish
language and, eight months down the line, although he will always sound like a p***k, he will know his way around a ‘wikky’, if a Spaniard should happen to stray in to his delightful little watering hole.

Some also make a success in introducing a regular quiz night and sticking at it. A number of English bars have tried this in the past and given it up after a while, staying
with it can make it the busiest bar on a set day.

At times I put down part of the success to the man himself who perhaps, shall we say is not the most patient of men, and, you know the old adage “I don’t come here to
be insulted”, well I am convinced that most patrons actually do!

So, what’s the moral of all this? If you can’t fight the urge and do buy a bar in Spain enrol in a training course before you get here, learn Spanish and provide your customers with some form of entertainment or take a leaf out of Mr Angry’s book , be very, very angry!

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