There are hundreds upon hundreds of amazing bars here in Barcelona, which can make the issue of choosing one to spend the night a much more strenuous task than it should be. If you want to escape the grasps of typical, commercial bar music and enjoy a relaxed night of eclectic music focused on rock and reggae then Sincopa rock and reggae bar is without a doubt worth a visit. This bar used to be owned by international musician Manu Chao and his artistry is clearly reflected in the playlist you enjoy here, with rock influences ranging from punk and ska, to chanson, salsa and reggae. Manu Chao has before spoken about a lack of places for “collective therapy” in our world, and Sincopa rock and reggae bar can clearly be seen as a venture of his to create such a place.
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Culture and history
Sincopa rock and reggae bar has a defined culture and history that is fed to guests through the décor, music and the warm, sociable staff. After quickly befriending the waiters and waitresses you will hear stories of how the bar started 9 years ago and how Manu Chao put on small gigs in the corner of the bar, hosting the likes of Les Ogres de Barback and La Rue Ketanou. In a strange turn of events, you will also learn that due to a mysterious argument, Manu Chao sold his half of the business to a friend and is now the only person to be banned from the bar – his music also being prohibited. Regardless of this unexplained event, his visions and attitude live through in a bar that’s clientele, environment and music very much create a sub-culture that emits qualities for a place of “collective therapy”.
Despite the huge variety of bars in Barcelona, if you’re interested in reggae then pickings are surprisingly slim. Even when you do come across a reggae bar it will certainly lack the true passion and quirkiness of Sincopa. At Sincopa rock and reggae bar you can enjoy an underground ambience in a small space drenched in red lighting and decorated with imaginative one-off pieces of art and unique but relevant paraphernalia. The atmosphere is not rowdy, but instead sociable, open and relaxed. This bar is very much an international one, with the owners being Portuguese and French, and the staff coming from every corner of the globe speaking dozens of languages between them. Sincopa is even original in terms of the drinks they have to offer, one of the most popular being the “Tango cocktail” which is an unusual but delicious mix of beer and French grenadine syrup.
Though the ambience, drink choices and beyond friendly staff will without a doubt make this bar a regular meeting place for a chilled bar experience, Sincopa’s deep rooted hold on music is the real draw. While with massive misfortune there is no longer live music (neighbours made noise complaints and the small stage has now been turned upside down and sits on the ceiling instead as a bizarre monument), as mentioned, the never-ending selection of world beats will leave any rock and reggae fan feeling happy and inspired. The somewhat weird mix of styles actually complement each other perfectly and omit good vibes in a way you can’t imagine until you get to hear them for yourself.
Sincopa rock and reggae bar is worth checking out for anybody who wants to experience a bar where you get a warm welcome, where you can try a cocktail you’ve never heard of or simply to mix yourself into a social and soulful environment with a playlist selected with passion. You can find this quirky reggae bar tucked away in the Gothic Quarter and is open until 3pm on weekends– it is not to be missed!
Could you recommend any other reggae spots?