I’ve been looking forward to the opening of Lab4 ever since Juan Carlos García (owner of Puracepa and Albarama) first told me about his latest project a month or so ago. What I wasn’t expecting was that it would be for “members only”, which at first put me off as I dislike anything that smacks of cliquiness. And when I was told there is a 50 euro a year membership fee I thought “well, that counts me out” until Carlos explained that you actually get the fee back by using the membership card to pay your bar bill. Then Carlos took me on a tour of the place and I knew I would love being a part of it.
Located upstairs from Puracepa, directly across from City Hall in the Plaza San Francisco, Lab4 is on four levels. There are two main cocktail lounges on the first and second floors, both super chic and minimalist with spectacular views across the square. The third floor will be used to give bartending classes and can also be booked for private functions. The terraza will be open year round, weather permitting, and will serve as a smoking section as well as just a general open area to enjoy your drinks outdoors. My favourite seat is in the glassed-in balcony on the first floor – a wonderful spot with comfy sofas to sit and watch the world go by.
There’s a good selection of cocktails and an extensive list of premium spirits and liqueurs. Wine, cava and champagne are also available, as well as select beers (nothing on tap). Prices are pretty much what you’d expect, similar to upmarket hotels bars. And the service is professional and friendly.
Members can bring guests with them, up to three Monday – Thursday and up to two Friday – Sunday. It will be a great place for me to take Gourmet Tapas Tour clients at the end of the evening, especially in winter when the rooftop bars are mostly closed.
And I do love that first floor window seat…