The Land of 100 Shots: Barcelona Bar

The Land of 100 Shots: Barcelona Bar

by Taryn Haight
04.06.2010

There are probably a few dozen bars in New York City that look just like this one. A tiny, dark doorway topped with a black awning and sandwiched between a liquor store and a cleaner is the sort of place you’d pass by and think nothing of. It’s the kind of place you’d check out if you lived just upstairs, the kind of place you’d duck into if you just needed somewhere to pee, or the kind of place you’d walk right by if you didn’t know of all the glorious rumors surrounding Barcelona Bar.

Dim lighting and tomato-soup-tinged walls are about all you can see from the front of the narrow little bar in Hell's Kitchen. Track lights around the perimeter of the room illuminate a few bar amenities: a dart board straight in the back (typical) and an extensive list of concoctions, hand-written and scribbled on the wall in colored chalk (intriguing).

Now, we’re not talking your typical "lemon drop" or "red-headed slut," we’re talking 100+ shots like “the full metal jacket,” where you’re forced to don army helmets and get verbally abused by the bartender. The “Harry Potter,” perhaps the most notorious shot at this place, involves black-rimmed circular glasses, striped scarves, some fancy pyrotechnics and a few shouts of “Expelliarmus!” Awesome. For $5 you really get your money’s worth, even if the shots are just cheap vodka and cinnamon.

The bar also sports an interesting mascot: Floquet, the white gorilla. Born in Africa and raised in Barcelona, Floquet had one very strong ability: drinking. The albino gorilla was known to be a regular at Espit Chupitos, where he spent his nights throwing back shots and partying with the locals – an excessive lifestyle which earned him a place in our hearts, and 21 little gorillas to carry on his lineage.

Although none of his offspring carried the legacy of his white fur or drinking abilities, you can still pay homage to Floquet by ordering a “white gorilla” and saluting the poster-sized picture of him on the wall.

Here’s to you, Floquet, and here’s to Barcelona Bar: one spot we’re happy to have wandered into.

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