Mallorca’s capital Palma has lost quite a few well-established businesses in recent months – many of them traditional cafés, bars, or bakeries. We said goodbye to Café Lírico in spring and, just a few weeks ago, Bar Cristal in Plaça d’Espanya closed; the latter had been founded in 1930 and managed by the same family since 1955. Over the past decade, more than 30 bakeries in Palma have shut their doors for good. This year’s closures have included El Forn (mallorquín for oven) des Paners, Pasteleria Llull, and Forn d’es Teatre (probably one of the most-photographed shop fronts in the city).
Palma’s changing commercial centre
Reasons for the closure of these family-owned businesses include retirement (with no younger members of the family willing to continue the business), growth in supermarket shopping (impacting on traditional bakeries), and – the biggie – increased commercial property rents. International chains including Starbucks and McDonald’s have opened in the city (sadly, IMHO) and, recognizing that the Big Boys are prepared to pay top dollar (or euro) for a presence in Palma, some commercial property owners have hiked up rents to the extent that it’s no longer viable for some local traders to continue in business.
Local business bucking the trend
People saddened by the increasing loss of traditional local businesses in Mallorca’s capital have welcomed recent news from Can Joan de s’Aigo (founded here in the 18th century). The café/bakery/ice-cream parlour is to open a third branch in Palma, in an architecturally interesting building that once housed the emblematic El Triquet bar but, more recently, a fashion store. Its prime location on the corner of the Avenidas (inner ring road) and C/ Sindicat will make it more visible to passing visitors and locals than its existing branches in C/ de Sans and Baró de Santa Maria del Sepulcre.
The new Can Joan de s’Aigo is expected to open after Christmas 2017. Read more about the business and its branch in C/ de Sans here.
Update: When I wrote this post, little did I know that Palma was about to lose another traditional café/bar. Bar Cristal’s neighbour, Cafe 1916 – where we have had many coffees over the years – closed down at the end of September. The nature of Plaça d’Espanya continues to change…and sadly not for the better.
©Jan Edwards 2017