From Crumbling Famhouse to Thriving Restaurant/Bar
John and Trish, UK residents, packed up and moved to Spain one day attempting to turn an old Spanish farmhouse into a bustling restaurant/bar. Could they do it? Read about their challenge in writer for escape artist, Elaine Ablett’s, article; Open a Bar in Remote, Rural Spain-Are You Crazy?
“In March 2005, Geoff, a friend (and property developer) approached John and Trish and asked them to take time away from their well established busy, thriving bar/restaurant and drive out into the country to view some old farmhouses that were on the market for sale which he thought would make an ideal bar/restaurant. Reluctantly, John and Trish agreed (they really were against the idea as they had no plans to sell up their existing business that they had worked so hard to establish).
The old farmhouses (the two were joined together) were in a very poor state of repair. They were situated in a remote location – this was “real Spain” – bordering the nearby Sierra de la Pila nature reserve, surrounded by mountains, no immediate neighbours – just a few Spanish houses glimpsed in the distance. John and Trish, like most who visit here, fell in love with the area but still were not sure about taking on the challenge of setting up a new business here. How would a British business survive in this remote area? Where would the customers come from? How would the Spanish people react to a British bar/restaurant opening up here?
Geoff then dropped a bombshell (but quite a nice one!). He had just bought up 1.7 million sq m of land and would shortly be starting on a new development of over 3,000 houses. With detached bungalows starting from only 109,000? (yes, approximately only £72,000!) these were surely going to be a popular buy!) – and the farmhouses would sit slap bang in the middle of this development! Well, this was an opportunity not to be missed and needless to say John and Trish decided to take the challenge.
The bar restaurant now has a bar/lounge area, a separate dining room, an additional room (which usually turns into a dance floor on entertainment nights!), outside patio area (and accommodation is also available at the most competitive of prices!).
As with most businesses, it was a slow start, but from week to week the business is growing. The Celtic Cross offers a warm welcome to all its visitors and is fast becoming a popular drinking/eating place. “