Bar la Sociedad in the heart of Vélez-Blanco (Northern Almería) is a special place for Spain Buddy for a multitude of reasons. Here we pay homage to the bar, its owners and staff… as well as wishing the owners “Feliz aniversario” for it is 55 years since they took over ownership.
We first discovered Bar la Sociedad in the spring of 2016. We had been looking for a town to call home for a while but nowhere seemed right for us both. However, during a short holiday to the area, we sat at Bar la Sociedad for a while during the evening. Every person stopped to say “hello,” had a conversation with us or gave us a big smile. We had seen that the town seemed busy – there was a “buzz” about the place that we hadn’t found elsewhere. It was a very pretty town with its own castle, barrancos and waterfalls and a refreshing lack of loud boozy Brits clamouring for fish and chips.
We had been sat there for about half an hour when we looked at each other and smiled. We had found our future home.
We moved to Vélez-Blanco the following September and were made to feel very welcome – almost immediately. This was especially true at Bar la Sociedad, where the owner José Victor Martínez Gallardo, his wife Sofina and their two sons Paco and José Maria made us feel like we were part of the Vélez-Blanco family.
This is the bar where we have hosted several events including for “Costa Women“, “Writers and Bloggers in Spain” and several group events for visitors. It is also where we take our family and friends when they come to visit, or to meet others for a spot of lunch. We are always very well cared for.
The food here is excellent. Everything from their set menus to their a la carte to their tapas are hand-cooked with care by Sofina and her team. Of special mention are the “pinchitos Morenos” (succulent chunks of pork in spices – fabulous when squirted with lemon juice) “riñones” (tender braised kidneys – delicious, as is the sauce mopped up with fresh bread)) “magra” (hearty and warming pork stew) and Sofina’s “leche frito” (a dessert that is to die for!!).
It is where many of the town youngsters have learned hospitality to a high standard – almost like an academy. All staff are immaculately presented and we always feel well attended.
It has an unrivalled view straight up the high street, as well as of the town centre fountain. It is also a fantastic place to watch the fireworks on New Years Eve. There is plenty of seating outside, a bar inside, plus a function room downstairs and a private upstairs area where the 250+ members of the town’s Cultural and Sports Society can socialise. It needs lots of space, because during weekends and fiestas it gets very busy. No matter what time of day you arrive, there are always locals sat outside… from the workers grabbing their breakfast in the early mornings, to the groups having lunch or snacks during the day, to the diners and drinkers during the evening. It’s a hive of activity – and you may also spot Alan and/or I there too.
Bar la Sociedad began as a Casino more than 100 years ago, although a bar was added later. José Victor began working there when he was just 12 years of age and eventually took over the business on October 9th 1966 (hence today’s birthday message), the same year he married the lovely Sofina. He handed over managerial responsibility to José Maria in 2004, yet still can be found at the bar every day, despite being more than 80-years-old. He always has time for a chat (or a wave if we are walking past).
We send our sincerest love to the entire family and team at Bar la Sociedad and wish them all the very best success for the future.
Finding Bar la Sociedad
Fancy trying Bar la Sociedad for yourselves? Head into the centre of Vélez-Blanco and it is on the right hand side, just before you head up the High Street towards the church and Ayuntamiento. Look for the fountain and you’re there. There is free parking in the surrounding area – although you may have to walk a few yards. There is also the choice of two banks with cashpoints.
Give me a shout via email@example.com and if I’m available, I’ll come join you for a quick tapa or glass of wine. Please note that food isn’t always available during siesta time.
Right – I must dash. I’m off to Bar la Sociedad right now to grab a hot chocolate (okay – or maybe a glass of wine) and to wish them “¡Felíz aniversario!”
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.