Recent Bar

  • by mpowell

    We’ve been watching a bunch of the World Cup games at one of our favorite bars in Valencia — the Portland Ale House. Found on Calle Salamanca near Plaza Canovas, the Portland’s blinking neon arrow provides an unfailing beacon for the thirsty.

    Portland Ale House

    The Portland is extremely popular among young American and British expats, but also among natives, and there’s a nicely mixed crowd on most nights. Especially popular are the Sunday night pub quizzes, which get underway at 20:00.

    As far as I’m concerned, there are two overwhelming reasons to show up. First is the sports — American football is shown here (during the season), making it perhaps the only spot in downtown Valencia to get your pigskin fix. Secondly, the Portland has a number of great microbrews.

    And it’s a place to meet people, especially if you’re an expat who’s missing the homeland a bit. The owner, Mike, is actually from Portland (Oregon) and always happy to chat. Check it out… regardless of where you come from, this is an awesome pub in one of the city’s best corners.

    Portland Ale House (on Facebook)
    Calle Salamanca 10
    Location on our Valencia Map
    963 810 406

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  • by mpowell

    Here are two pictures I took at Café Burlón, before and after Spain’s shock loss to Switzerland.

    Suicide notwithstanding, this was a great place to watch the Spain game. Everyone was clad in jerseys, chanting and screaming. Great atmosphere. Here’s the location. Wear red.

    [comic image from War of the Supermen #4]

  • by mpowell

    I know. Usually, we try and provide you with information about the city. But this time, I’m stuck. The World Cup begins tomorrow and I have no idea where to watch it!

    When we lived in Berlin, every bar had huge screen televisions set up outside, on street corners or in makeshift gardens. The city had set up gigantic screens in the public gardens. There were hundreds of awesome places to catch a game, in every neighborhood. But here in Valencia? I’m not sure!

    I don’t necessarily mind watching the games on a small TV, but preferable would be a BIG screen, with seating outside. Do any of our readers have a suggestion?

    Update: Las Provincias reports that you can watch some games in 3D at certain cinemas. Now, I have to figure out where the hell either Yelmo Cines, Cinesa or Kinépolis are!

  • by mpowell

    During our first summer here, in 2008, the Estrella Damm lounge overlooking the America’s Cup harbor was one of our favorite hangouts. Hip staff, good drinks, comfortable seats and an unbeatable sunset view made it a great place to take friends.

    Estrella Lounge Valencia

    Well, that’s apparently a thing of the past, as we learned while trying to show off Cool Valencia to our latest visitor. The lounge looks like a ghost town — everything’s been cleared out, the counters are covered in dust, and I’m pretty sure I saw a tumbleweed blowing through.

    What happened? Here we were at the harbor on a beautiful Thursday evening in the middle of summer, and apparently the only people within a kilometer’s radius. It wasn’t just Estrella Damm, but all the other bars around the Veles e Vents building were completely desolate. Not just a lack of visitors, but of everything — nothing open, no people, not even security. It was depressing.

    When it’s not falling over itself to impress the high-stakes crowd that accompanies the America’s Cup, Valencia seems content to let its harbor fall into complete disuse. One needn’t look too closely to discover rust covering everything metal and huge weeds poking up through wooden planks. The Veles e Vents building itself looks dirty and old. It’s a terrible waste of what could be a beautiful location.

    But the death of Estrella Damm lounge really has us puzzled — after all, there was no America’s Cup last year, but that place was always packed. What happened? Could any of our readers clue us in?

    TIP: If you want a substitute bar with a great ocean view, you probably can’t do better than 30°27N, which can be found here. A little pricey, but really lovely in the evening. (location)

    Update – Reader freshwater left a comment noting that the Estrella Damm Lounge didn’t abandon Malvarrosa, just the America’s Cup Port. It’s now situated where the former Cafe del Mar used to be, approximately here. Thanks!

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  • by mpowell

    Sala El Loco (location) is one of the top concert venues in the city. In addition to music, they feature theater and comedy acts.

    This Friday night, you can check out the Friki day of pride party, for just a €5 entrance. “Friki” is the cute Spanish translation of Freak. Bands like Rajoy Division and Ligres will be performing for what’s sure to be an interesting crowd.

    If freaks aren’t your thing, still make sure and check out the other events on their funky website. Their concerts and events are pretty eclectic; the emphasis seems to be on “cool”.

    Erudito Orellana 12
    96 392 2607

    Location on our Valencia Map

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