##24/7 Valencia: Could you please tell us about the history of Café de Las Horas?
Marc of Café de Las Horas: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somewhere to sit and read?” “Why is there nowhere with classical music?” “I’d love a cocktail but can’t find one.” “Wouldn’t you just KILL for a piece of chocolate cake (at 2 a.m.)?” “Really? Tea in a carajillo glass again?!” …”We’d better open a bar!!”
And such was the carefully thought-through weighing up of our early business minds … Pretty much the same today come to think of it, ha-ha.
A bit rash perhaps, but it does actually make sense – do something you yourself genuinely need and love. Build an atmosphere you yourself can flourish in. Strive to attract the kind of people who will nurture you and appreciate all you do to try to contribute to their well-being, and further hope that you can also contribute to your neighbourhood, even your city (grandiose it may sound but it’s a very real concern of ours) …
And do what you can to the best of your ability no matter how limited your resources and how tiring the road. And hopefully you will grow.
And so we did. 25 years ago, never having worked in a bar, somewhat in awe of the coffee machine, I remember saying to friends…“If we survive 5 years I’ll be happy. 10 would be like WOW. But really truly my dream- my DREAM is to become a ‘classic’ in Valencia.” And dreams do come true.
Manuel Castillo, my business partner, has a talent for decoration and has invariably managed to evoke atmosphere, be it using genuine antiques hunted out in rastros or faux creations using skill and imagination. These latter I love more than any bought gem. Much of the Café has been built by us and the hard work has been very often alleviated by the helping hands and the kindest hearts of so many friends. It is a wonderful thing to look around and see in the tiles of the mosaic floor, the tints of the borders and frescos, the papier-mâché leaves of the roses winding around the baroque lamp, and in many many secret corners, some sweat, some tears and above all laughing, heartwarming memories.
Over the years we’ve tried to combine the art of drink with Art itself. And with TOLERANCE. We’ve camped it up, we’ve cooled it down, we’ve been glamorous, we’ve been deep, we’ve courted the refined and we’ve indulged our baser instincts …jazz, opera, fashion, burlesque, poetry, history, tertulias, tango, drag, and lots and lots of cocktails have kept us alive. We love the risqué, but whatever we do, we try not to lose our sense of elegance, and above all our sense of humour. And we beg you to keep yours.”
CAFÉ DE LAS HORAS
C/ Conde de Almodovar, 1 (near Plaza del Virgen)
Zona Centro Historico
Tel: 963 91 73 36
Monday to Sunday