Marlowe (formerly Gimlet)

Words by Simon Difford on 14-Apr-2023

Marlowe (formerly Gimlet) image 1

Address: Carrer Rec, 24, (btwn Passeig del Born & Carrer del Sabateret), Barcelona, Catalunya, 08003, Spain
Tel: +34 717 702 732
Hours: Mon-Thu 19:00-02:30, Fri-Sun 19:00-03:00
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Cocktail bar
Established: 1979


Originally opened in 1979, this was the first of two Gimlet bars in Barcelona: one uptown and one downtown. Originally they shared the same owner, name and logo. Now the two bars are estranged and this El Born bar has been renamed Marlowe by the talented and hospitable bar team now behind it.

The name is inspired by Raymond Chandler's fictional detective Phillip Marlowe , a lover of Gimlets so a link to the original bar. Indeed, many of the bar's regulars continue to enjoy Gimlets here although they now longer feature on the quarterly changing menu. Indeed, request any classic cocktail here and you probably won't be disappointed. My Daiquiri was excellent.

Marlowe lies in the El Born district where every other doorway on the narrow streets appears to be a bar and the pavements heave with patrons well into the early hours. This delightful little bar sits on one of the quieter thoroughfares and is distinctly classical compared to its neighbours.

The small room with its art Deco styling is dominated by a long, polished mahogany bar. This is a no-messing cocktail bar and stands out for its imaginative cocktails made using ingredients sourced from the local area.