Friday 23 June 2017

La Federica, Poble Sec, Barcelona: a Review

On the evening of day three in Barcelona, I had recovered sufficiently to take a short stroll into the district in which we were residing, Poble Sec. This is a trendy quarter rapidly becoming known for its culinary highlights. For an example, see my last post on Camilo Hock's Atelier Pan & Cook.

Prior to actually making the trip, I had done some research on places to see, dine at and so on, as well as determining whether there are any gay bars in the vicinity. Spain is not like the UK when it comes to bars specifically dedicated to the queer community, as most bars are welcoming or at least tolerant of one & all. However, there is a concentration of gay-friendly businesses in Eixample, which also happens to be the area for best shopping. So concentrated with LGBTI folk, the area is often nicknamed Geixample (pronounced gay-shample). However, Poble Sec has just the one gay bar - La Federica.

[Image description: (left) the outside façade & hoarding; (right) inside looking out.]

Unlike many bars in Manchester's Gay Village, this bar was frequented by all the stereotypes (bears, leather boys, trannies, lipstick lesbians, denim dykes, disco bunnies, nervous twinks, hipster gays, camp gays, etc.) and aged from twinks to polar-bears. What struck me most was that they all talked to each other - even the lesbians! I was really surprised at what a family atmosphere there is here and told Albert the barman (and co-owner) so. He said that was the vibe they were aiming for. They even permit heteros, as long as they are queer-accepting, gay-friendly.

The top image is myself standing at the trendily retro bar. Whilst the width of the building is somewhat narrow, one can gain a sense of its depth from the bottom left photo of me savouring my dry Martini, expertly shaken not stirred by the delightful, chatty & amiable barkeep. Best dry Martini ever! And to add to my joy, Albert gave me his tip for making it so! - but my lips are sealed! 

Be not fooled by the bottom right portrait of Rico: that is a Moscow Mule and no soft-drink whatever the label on that can of ginger-beer!

Whilst there, we were privy to an art exhibition by the collagist, Randomagus. This link should lead you to the artist installing, previewing and selling his works. The photograph (© La Federica) below is of the artist between the other barman & co-owner (also named Albert) and Albert, the shorter chap on the right as viewed.

Randomagus is extremely tall - his head can be seen popping over the head of the blonde lass behind me in the image below, where I am celebrating my purchase of a limited addition print, signed by the artist himself.

Depending on the night and time one turns up at La Federica will determine the type of ambience from a place for a quiet pick-me-up to a boisterous bacchanalia of imbibing, chatting, laughter and music.

We loved the place so much we popped in twice for wee drinkies. When we are next in Barcelona, nothing will keep us from saying ¡hola! to Albert and his affable clientèle. And anyway, we need to continue working through and sampling all the cocktails on the list!


  1. It was very nice to meet you that night, I was a little nervous! Thank you for sharing my links, it is supersweet from you!!



    1. Well, your nervousness did not show. I hope you succeeded in vending many prints. Once framed, I shall be hanging mine in my kitchen-diner. Oh, and hugs always welcome. {{{ }}}