Just returned from a three week visit after a six months absence.
The first striking thing I noticed is the fast amount of money that has been spent on new establishments or enhancing exsisting places.
One place that opened in autumn McJamon, with its plastic red tables and chairs I would have given weeks before it closed. How wrong, with a glass of beer at 67 cents, and basically every else at 1 euro, (coffee and baileys, Brandy, Wine, Toasted sandwiches, etc) and giant food platters at 6 euro's, the place is heaving morning , noon and night.
Just down from here Cosy Nook has closed and become bar 69, yet another Dutch bar, leaves Cheryl and Nigel as the last Brit type operation on this drag.
Aguacan bar has closed and surprise, surprise become Sunset another Dutch bar.
Antonio jaime now has wind blinds all the way round, a disappointment to the writer as I used to sit at the bar watching the sun go down, no longer possible as the perspex in the way. Accept he has to please his Spanish customers, however, looking at customers numbers not just me who found it too hot and stuffy.
Going back one row and passing the fountain down to casa juans, the mobility shop has closed and now a fruit and veg shop, (the mobility shop on the top road opposite las palomas has also closed, the banning of skate boards and bikes on the paseo seems to be having an effect.)
Next door the old Christina bar has become a second outlet for la Copa, still huge tapas portions. Next door del carmen has been split in two by the same owner, becoming a pizza place and a tapas bar. great cold and hot tapas but you pay for the tapas and the drink.
Just passed casa juans a jamon shop has opened doing vacuumed packed ham for taking away. Iberian cured acorn ham was 10 euros for 100gr, ham of Huelva 5 euro's for 100grams, not sure of prices, but the free tasting went down well with me.
Unfortunately Casa Pascual 1 has closed for good all the business now done from pascual II, loved Pascual I.
Next door to Hotel Pedro a gorgeous place called Pure patisseries, with glass effect table and chairs looks great. Went in and met the Belguim pastery chef, has 22 years experience and the products show it. Advised they were making the place a bistro and patisserie with every thing freshly made on the premises. Not sure has the look of a bistro.
Further on the front just before El Horno on the corner the guys who run the pizza bar by the fountain have opened another more up market place. They showed me the rent they are paying, needed a stiff brandy to recover. They had their opening night the same night as the reopening of El Horno, how can you be in two places at once. Fortunately we sent all the ladies to one and the gents the other and then swapped over, or so I am told, dont remember.
Further back, Tito Juan has turned back time and reopened the front bar providing seating for 120, still no space some nights. His daughter has closed her bar and with her uncle have now joined juan.
Up the walkway at the top Obriens the irish bar still going, but we have lost bar N340, they have moved to Torremolinos. About another 3 or 4 bars now opened to deal with the trade from Hotel natursun and Royal al-Andalus. Natursun had a huge banner offering double rooms for 35 euro's over the easter period a fantastic offer.
Good new is that talks on the sale of Las palomas were ongoing all last week, a deal could be struck, however, i cant see it, the former staff wont agree.
Certainly the village feel of the carihuela continues, we have lost some tat shops and seen food and drink in its place. A fortune has been spent in the last 6 months showing the confidence in the area.
The place was packed so different from benalmadena and arroyo, really surprised how quiet Fountain sqaure were even on Easter Saturday.
Cant wait to be back in 3 weeks, just hope I can get a table at some of my favourite watering holes, thankfully 100's of different choices.