Every major city has bars and party places that only people “in the know”, know where they are and how to get into them. Paradiso cocktail bar, in Barcelona’s El Born area, is one of these places. Hundreds of people would pass by what seemed to be an ordinary Pastrami shop. Yes, their homemade pastrami is great and many people go to enjoy it. But what is behind the visual shop is anything but ordinary.
While Barcelona Spain and the El Born area is packed with vermouth bars, Paradiso is an upscale cocktail bar. While some bars require passwords, have unmarked doors, or moving bookcases, Paradiso is hidden behind a refrigerator door. As I pass through the refrigerator door I see some people looking annoyed as they are waiting to get in and others confused, with a look of why would I be going into a refrigerator.
Passing through the curtain on the other side opens a very busy wood-paneled, dimly lit bar. It felt like an exclusive VIP invitation-only party inside. There are tall wood stools along with the bar or tables and low chairs at the back of the bar. The impressive cocktail menu is full of non-traditional drinks. One of my favorites is the Great Gatsby. The perfect blend of whiskey and amaro smoked with vanilla and chocolate under a glass cake dome. The process to make these drinks takes time, usually about 10 to 15 minutes, but is entertaining watching them being made. At a price of €15 each, they are not for everyone.
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I heard in the bathroom, behind a sink is a hidden door. It leads to a very small soundproof room where “anything goes”. I didn’t go into the bathroom when I was there, so I do not know about this. I will have to have a look the next time I go.
Paradiso cocktail bar is located at Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, and opens at 7:00 pm.