Marlowe (formerly Gimlet)

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Words by Simon Difford on 08-Nov-2014

Marlowe (formerly Gimlet) image 1

Address: Carrer Rec, 24, (btwn Passeig del Born & Carrer del Sabateret), Barcelona, Catalunya, 08003, Spain
Tel: +34 933 101 027
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Sun & Mon 10pm-3am, Tues & Wed 8pm-3am, Thurs-Sat 7pm-3am
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: No food
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, but regulars and locals will probably always refer to it as Gimlet.

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. Gimlet 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 cocktails made using ingredients only sourced from the local area.

The name might have changed but Gimlets remain the drink of the house, so much so that they have a dedicated Gimlet station. They are apparently also the favourite of PI Philip Marlowe and a silhouette of the sleuth sits behind the bar.