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The Future Is Still Now: Barcelona’s Flash Flash

1969. Like at every decade’s end, the events of that year either placed a firm period to define what the 60s would be remembered for — Woodstock, for example — or, if the signs were clearly read, they were already lining up a clear trajectory for decade to come: the cover of Led Zeppelin’s debut album seems to say quite clearly that the sound of the 60s was getting ready to go up in flames, the Mason Family threatened the prevailing notion of a subculture full of peace and love, and the first Concorde flight expressed a desire for fast paced internationalism and instant gratification. 

Throw in the culmination of the Cold War fueled Space Race with the moon landing, and phew, it was quite a year for defining the shape of things to come! It was also the year that architect Alfonso Mila and photographer Leopoldo Pomes dreamed up a collaborative project, a restaurant like no other where Mila’s walls would support Pomes’ photographs.

When the doors opened to the public in 1970, it wasn’t just the interior of Flash Flash that was forward thinking. The restaurant is soundproofed to make conversation easy and comfortable, and while it may not seem particularly revolutionary now, the restaurant is only closed on Christmas day and features bright and pleasant restrooms — both rare in a restaurant in 1970! Still rare in most any restaurant, the 4th condition of Flash Flash’s concept is its service, which looks back to a time when the job of  waiter was a dignified profession.

Flash Flash is a tortilleria, and yes, tortillas are the center of the menu. Don’t confuse these with the flat bread of the same name found in mexican cuisine; these are thick and fluffy Spanish tortillas with more in common to an omelette than their mexican cousins. They even have desert tortillas. If you just can’t face eggs, however, you can order from a large selection of meat and vegetable based dishes.

40 years later Flash Flash has accomplished the nearly impossible task of both encapsulating its era and remaining fresh — this true Barcelona original still draws crowds from international icons to local teenagers. Join the mix next time you find yourself in town.

Get yourself a slice living like a real Barceloneon.

WHITE LINE HOTELS® – an edgy community of private hotels that embrace creativity and the good life.

Images © Flash Flash


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