INTERVIEW TERESA OF BAR LOS PICAPIEDRA
1.Tell us something about your background
I have Spanish parents but I was born in Paris, France and was brought up there until I was 8 years old. I have great memories of growing up in my Parisian barrio with friends from Europe and Africa and I remember the Eiffel Tower! My family then moved to Chella in the Valencia region. It was a small pueblo of 2,800 people…very different to the capital of France! I had my French language skills knocked out of me in the pueblo due to being accused of being “La Francesa” …so I had to fit in! However, I’m trying to regain my French now with some success via my Francophile friends at the bar. In Chella, I was in a local band in the 1980s as a teenager, and I sang mostly cover versions of Spanish songs and we were also popular with the locals for singing the hymn of the local Fallas!
2. Can you tell us about the Bar Los Picapiedra?
Los Picapiedra began in Valencia in the early 1990s. I took over around 1999 and my long-term partner Dani joined me. He is my second boyfriend who has the name Dani and the later initials GG, a very weird yet happy coincidence!
The bar has evolved and I’m happier than ever. I have lots of optimism and we have the capacity to accept everyone here. We welcome all ages, young, old, people of all social backgrounds, alternative or business people. There are no prejudices, it’s a familiar atmosphere and the only people not welcome here are people who have a bad attitude and they soon shove off because it’s not their kind of atmosphere.
The ‘New York Times’ had this to say about us: “Locals avoid the splashy tourist traps and pour into the Stone Age-themed Bar los Picapiedra (Caballeros 25; bar-lospicapiedra.com), where students, bohemians and miscellaneous walk-ins guzzle cider out of large, spouted glass porrones, which look vaguely like watering cans (7 euros), and listen to Spanish alt-rock.”
We have loyal clients from all over the world including Korea, Japan, Britain, Germany, Italy, India, the USA and many more. Foreign clients have sent me presents from their countries or when they return to Valencia again. A Dutch couple returned with craft beer from Holland, a Tunisian family sent me beautiful fabrics from their country and an Australian sent me a blown–up photomontage of the bar from the other side of the world!
3. What sort of food do you serve at Bar Los Picapiedra?
We have set menus for couples, small and large groups that include Valencian salads, a variety of Spanish meats and hummus with bread as well as house wine or beer. We have a great selection of tortillas, including tuna and sausage choices. Tapas include the Valencia specialty of ‘Esgarraet’; curry meatballs, squid, mushrooms and more. We also cater to vegan and vegetarian clients and we also have wide range of cheese and some ham bocadillos. You can enjoy drinking your beer, wine or cider from our legendary porrones, which are the wine pitchers you’ve seen in films & documentaries about Spain.
4. Do you have any plans for the future?
We have some land in the countryside of Jaen, Andalusia, which has a water pumping windmill and there are waterfalls, walnut & poplar trees. We would like to fix up the house and the ideal would be to convert it into a retreat with 10 rooms for rural tourism. If it doesn’t ever get refurbished anytime soon, we could turn it into a home for geriatrics for when I’m older!
Interview by Owl
Bar Los Picapiedra
Tel: 96 3 919 876