I’m not the type that hangs out in cocktail bars, but like many good things in life it was chance that brought me into Balius. A group of us had left a work dinner nearby and simply needed a place to continue the festivities. The place looked full, but the staff helpfully took us to a free table at the back and the evening remains a slightly fuzzy but very pleasant memory.
Balius is the name of an old perfume emporium, well known in Poblenou from when it was an industrial hub. The bar has kept the name and graphic design of the old brand. Inside the décor is relaxing and low-lit and what I like about it is its refreshingly unpretentious atmosphere thanks to the staff who provide good, friendly service.
The cocktails are designed seasonally, and the tapas menu is strictly organic, focusing on market-bought ingredients. Over the last few years, Barcelona has developed an obsession with gin and tonic and Balius falls in line with this trend. What brought me back is the great jazz lineup which makes it ideal for a relaxed drink on a Sunday afternoon.
Balius also hosts other types of live events like stand-up comedy and literary gatherings in conjunction with Nollegiu bookshop, another happening spot in this neighbourhood. What better excuse for another cocktail than a long discussion about War and Peace?