Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ibiza Awards:Medal of Merit for Bernat Vinya

There can't be many places in the world where a bar is given the medal of Merit of its town council for its services to the community. But that what's happened in San Jose, Ibiza where the bar Bernat Vinya, one of the oldest businesses in the borough was honoured by the Mayor, Josep Mari Ribas.

The bar has been in business for around 150 years and was originally set up by two brothers, Joan and Bernat Vinya to sell local products like carobs, almonds and charcoal. They soon realised that opening a bar for the local folks was a better proposition and the business took off.

For many years Bar Bernat Vinya was the social and official centre of the village because of the lack of meeting rooms elsewhere. It was even used as the doctor's surgery on the day he visited the village!

Open from very early until very late each day for 365 days a year the bar never seemed to close. In fact, it's only in the last few years that it's closed on Christmas Day afternoon and New Years Day afternoon to give the staff a chance to be with their families.

It hardly seems to have changed over the years and the old men still sit playing cards on Sunday evening whilst the old ladies sit nursing coffees at a separate table and gossip. On summer Sunday's the shady garden is a favourite meeting point after mass for villagers and tourists alike.

Generations of town hall staff have migrated to the bar en masse at 11am to take a relaxing coffee away from the stresses and strains of trying to stay awake in the office so it's no surprise that the bar has been given the Medal of Merit. Well done Bar Bernat!

Tip 1: If you visit Bernat Vinya try one of their delicious 'pan con tomate y jamon serrano' sandwiches – they're fantastic.

Tip 2: If you visit San Jose town hall don't go at 11am – they're all in the bar.

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