A surrealist space dedicated to the world of Belgian beer
Salvador Dalí once explained that, “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.”
For many of us mere mortals, it’s difficult to grasp exactly what he was trying to express. Señor Max Dopchie, however, the creator of Imprfcto Bar, seems to have fully connected with the concept, and run with it.
Like so many of us implants in Barcelona, he moved to the city completely devoid of any long-term ambitions and instantly fell in love with the place. Seven or so years later, having decided he would like to make it home, he started looking for a premise to turn his dream of owning his own bar into a reality. Through sheer grit and determination he has made it happen. “I’m working 100 hours a week,” he told me as he squinted into the sun and toked on a cigarette, “but it’s going well.”
Located on Avenida Paral-lel, between Poblesec and Sant Antoni, it looks relatively normal from the outside, but the lunacy of it all becomes instantly apparent once you step inside. Part bar, part art gallery, it is a place of constant surprise. A row of tables made of glowing washer machines — as in the machines you use to wash your clothes — lines one wall, while an elegant London phone box leads to the toilets where a masked mannequin leers over you whilst you tend to your business.
Craziness aside, this large-but-cosy space is ideal for getting together for birthday bashes or even to enjoy a relaxed drink alone. There’s even a self-service beer tap where you can pour your own Stella-Artois. “I offer discounts for groups if they pour their own beer,” Max told me, “because it’s just me behind the bar and it gets busy at times.”
Max also invites DJs and local bands to play whenever he can and hosts the occasional pub quiz. The main attractions however are the large TV screens, which draw football fanatics from far and wide when there’s a big game on.
You’ll be glad to hear the beer offering is pretty much entirely Belgian. Imprfcto isn’t the first place in Barcelona to specialise in Belgian beer, of course, but I believe it’s the only one that’s actually owned and run by a purebred Belgian. Max talks about the beers in great detail, but without any pretences — the craft beer boom might be a relatively new thing in Barcelona, but the concept of “good beer” is nothing new to this Brussels-born bar owner. The fridges are stocked with all the big names like Chimay, Delirium, Duvel, Chouffe, Orval and Westmalle, but there are plenty of lesser known brews on offer for adventurous beer swillers too.
Nibble on cones of Belgian frites, which are fresh, crispy and lavished with authentic Belgian sauces. Simple, but oh-so-satisfying.
Whether you fancy a quick beer alone or need space to celebrate with friends, Imprfcto is an excellent choice. It’s fun, it’s weird, it’s unpretentious. And best of all, the beer is absolutely sublime.
By Ben Holbrook http://www.driftwoodjournals.com
Imprfcto BarAv. del Paraŀlel, 104, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Area: Poble Sec
Website: Imprfcto Bar - Barcelona
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 17.00 – 01.30 / Fri – Sat 13.00 – 02.30 / Sun 13.00 – 01.30
Metro/Bus: Poble Sec