Santiago de Compostela has always stood out for having many venues where music occupies a privileged place, with a great commitment to live performances. However, there are fewer and fewer rock bars, designed by and for lovers of this type of music and of all the culture that surrounds it.
One of them is located in the Ensanche Compostela: the Rock Café, on Rúa da República Arxentina, where they coexist a musical thread full of great classics of rock, blues and soul with an eighties decoration alreadyI love pets and motorcycles in equal measure.
“Nowhere else will you find the warmth that you feel in this place: There aren’t too many rock bars and we think it’s such a beautiful culture that they shouldn’t be missed. “, explains in an interview with Fifteen thousand Juan Manuel Rey Rivas, owner with his daughter of the Rock Café.
His arrival at the premises was fate: Juan was unemployed in 2014 after working thirty years in a hotel, just at the same time as his daughter, so they decided to start up together a bar “setting in the musical culture of the 70s and 80s”. Soon after, they found out that the Rock Café was being transferred.
“We arrived, we conditioned it and gave it that tonality that it has today as what it is: a thematic venue, a museum, a place to sit and listen to music, with concerts and a loyal clientele “, explains this innkeeper, “Rock N Rivas”.
From minute one, they opted for the aesthetics that the place maintains to this day, full of references to cinema and music, from Elvis Presley to Marilyn Monroe, passing through records of great classics or concert posters.
“We have posters of when the Rolling Stones were in Santiago or when Mötorhead played in Vigo: all there is is real, “he continues.
They really are also motorcycles, always on display at the premises: recently a Bultaco that had been there for three years was sold and its place was taken over “a home made iron” by a customer from the chassis and with a concrete mixer engine.
Another conviction that was maintained since the opening was that of allow the presence of pets inside the premises, a practice that has led them to retain their customers, but rather their furry friends.
“Whenever a dog comes he has a gift, so many times they pass by here and already want to enter; in any case, customers appreciate having a place to go with their pets, especially in winter, when there are no open terraces “, he details.
The Rock Café Santiago is advertised like this through pages recommended by locals dog friendly. At the same time, he also makes a very active use of social networks, “a free platform where you can give visibility to your business”.
Beyond this particularity, the Rock Café has everything you could expect from a bar with these characteristics: in the mornings soul and blues accompany the coffees, while in the afternoon and at night rock, reeds and drinks take over.
During this pandemic, the owner of this place he is clear about what he misses the most: the concerts, a habit that he hopes to resume as soon as possible.
“In Santiago there are wonderful musicians, people who play that is a real outrage, and you have to give them the opportunity to continue working and playing in venues, to be seen “, assures.
All kinds of artists have passed through the Rock Café, from Sherpa, from Barón Rojo, to Mad Martin Trio or Valentin Caamaño.
“We like to have concerts: It’s not because of what you earn, because you really earn just enough but because you attract the followers of that band, people who enjoy them, and that’s what really fills you up “, Add.
The pandemic came at a sweet, “high” moment for Rock Café, which he had achieved “the most difficult thing when you open, having a loyal and very like-minded audience” and he continued to stick with his proposal, with concerts that could not be performed.
“Now concerts cannot be held and glasses cannot be served, but we have managed to survive and we will grow again, “he concludes.