Seeking out some old world Spanish kitche, I sought out Bar Garlochí in Sevilla. When I mention that I wanted to go there to a few locals, they all nodded their head and agreed that it was a must.
Like a few local bars, it doesn’t open until later at 10pm. When I got there at 10:30, I saw a barrel-chested bartender with a huge sprout of hair coming out of his shirt singing Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” while a little lady danced around. “Well, this must be the place,” I said.
Similar to Granada’ El Tabemaculo (review to come), Garlochí is wall to wall with religious paraphernalia. It’s wax candles, statues of the Virgin Mary, crucifixes, oil paintings of dead people, creepy dolls in dresses, rosary beads, funeral cards, dank looking tapestries and velvet curtains.
The joint serves straight, no-frills liquor or cocktails. The house specialty is a Hurricane-like sangria called “Sangre de Cristo” (Blood of Christ) where the glass is rimmed with sugar. Since I didn’t want to wake up in a bathtub of ice with a kidney missing, I just got a gintonic or a Gin & Tonic to us Americans. Ask for the locally-made gin, Puerto de Indias.
As the headline suggests, the decor would make a few avant-garde artists feel as home. Another director to name drop besides Lynch and Almodovar would be Italian-horror master Mario Bava, who sprinkled his films with religious overtones. You walk around and you wonder if the eyes of the paintings are following you.
The random mix of the music also adds to the eclectic feeling of the place. I heard Louie Prima, The Band and The Carpenters mixed in with some Spanish oldies.
You are more than welcome to take pictures and do a little impromptu photo session as I did with my crew. The burly bartender doesn’t speak English, so when you are done, just say “Cuenta?” (How much?) and “Gracias”.
Bar Garlochí is opened from 10pm to 4am everyday, not sure about religious holidays. It’s located at Calle Boteros, 26, which is a five-miute walk from Metropol Parasol and 10-minute walk from the Catedral de Sevilla.