#1 Lolita Tapería
14 Mar 2016
Tapas bar with character
“Lolita Tapería” has the same character of this city and its creative, agile and cosmopolitan pulse. It is located in the popular neighborhood of Sant Antoni, in the heart of the Paral·lel District. Lolita is one of the best examples of the contemporaneous urban “tapeo” and the result of the remodeling of Inopia Classic Bar. When the former bar was closed, Joan Martínez, one of the co-owners together with Albert Adrià, decided that the moment had come to weigh anchors sail alone with a well trace course and a clear destination. Lolita had to become a cosy yet charismatic place, a colorful and informal meeting point, where people would share the table, good food and fun, a proposal of spectacular and inspiring tapas with the author’s touch.
Cover photo: © Víctor Garcia (Baboon Graphics)
Photos: Lydia Cazorla
It was the summer of 2010 when Lolita started. Nowadays Lolita has become a place where customers, whether loyal or occasional, experience the feeling of being among friends, being part of the neighborhood and enjoy an atmosphere defined by Joan as “scoundrel” and which is nothing less than having much pleasure in front of a delicious ”tapa”.
“…apply voracious lips
to her unknown heart”.
Vladimir Nobokov, Lolita
Joan Martínez, naturalness and respect
Joan Martínez is the creator of “Lolita” and is the most genuine of the gastronomic musketeers. Six years ago he took the lead of Lolita when it was just an inspiration, and he worked hard and endless hour, fighting against sleeplessness to make the idea in his mind come true. Vital and extroverted, he worked hard to transmit the essence of his own character to the local. He wanted people to enjoy good food, as he does, and have a good time. He surrounded himself with a team of good, passionate friends who always smile. And this approach has not changed so far. The team ́s proposal is “naturalness and respect”. Naturalness, he explains, because he is still learning day after day, and respect for people, his customers, to whom he always offers the best product and high quality service.
Joan Martinez explains that the key of his “tapas” are high quality ingredients. His friends Ferran and Albert Adrià transmitted this idea to him. And this is why he visits Mercabarna’s Central Wholesale Market every midnight to find the best food products and he works relentlessly trying out his vitality and his sense of humor. Joan hardly recalls when he took his latest holydays, and it is always difficult for him to get some leisure time for his hobby, the music.
With open arms
Lolita is not very large and not too small, but is very cosy, decorated with the icons its brazenly provocative people welcoming its guests to make them feel comfortable. It is about “well-being”. The local ́s famous “tapas” are a large show of tastes and sensations recognized both in national and international guides as one of the best temples of gastronomy. The “tapas” brim over of simplicity, but once tasted, they become one of the most compelling experiences for the palate. Later come the intimate pleasure of the author’s cuisine and the wish to unveil the mysteries of such a sublime art. And without overpromising, customers of any kind and condition surrender to a magnificent feast, very often without wanting to come to an end. That’s Lolita!
There is always a large queue of individuals waiting at the door. At Lolita, nothing is impossible and everything can happen. Since its opening, Joan wanted the atmosphere to be informal and with plenty of fun. And he accomplished this goal without much difficulty. Very different characters, popular, celebrities, anonymous and international individuals have taken seat at the local’s tables… and all of them have come back. According to Joan, the customers ́ profiles change very much, depending on the day of the week, but his customers are all loyal, conforming this atmosphere of having a good time as mentioned by vermouth and tapas love.
Joan did not know how to name his tapas bar. Since he loves myths, he decided to blend the flamenco essence of his admired Lola Flores with the iconoclastic craftiness of Nabokov’s novel. The result of this blending is the name “Lolita”. Joan also recalled images of Stanley’s Kubrick film and all of this inspiration, apart from the name, contributed to the local’s identity and charisma. The logo was designed by a good friend and customer of the bar, who seated at the bar in front bar in front of one of her favorite “tapas”, stamped a kiss on a white paper napkin. “Here is your logo”, she said, and this is how the logo of Lolita Tapas Bar was born.