It is a common refrain that the neighborhood of Txintxerpe should be the fifth Galician province, due to the many people living there from Galician origins. Pulling this thread, Igara may become the ninth Andalusian province. At least, you could figure it if you arrive to number 19 Igara Bidea Street. No, there is not a teleporter there. It is the Arrikitaun tavern. It is the dream of an Andalusian couple who had already been living for years in San Sebastián: Angel de la Chica and Mayca Madroñal. He, sevillian and supporter of Sevilla FC, takes care of the bar counter. She, also sevillian but supporter of Betis -both teams are everlasting rivals-, takes care of cooking. A disdainful cliché is that andalusians are lazy: tell them if you dare, because they work fulltime to make their business thrive. Now they are having off day on Mondays to rest a bit, but this week they will devote the day to talk with pintxos.es. Angel answers us as nicely as he is when he is pouring “rebujitos” (Sherry mixed with a soft drink) at the bar.
- Let’s talk about cliches, Angel. What happened before: the Arrikitaun or “Ocho apellidos vascos” (a popular spanish comedy that plays around the Andalusian and Basque clichés).
- We were first, the movie came later. We’ve been there for a couple of years. In fact, some tv broadcasters came here to report, after the movie premiere.
- How did you come up with the idea of a Basque-Andalusian corner in San Sebastián?
- I’ve been living here for 20 years, and my wife and daughters for 19. We did no do catering work, but my wife always wanted to set up a little Andalusian space, because there wasn’t one. That idea was always around, be we couldn’t develop it due to our daily works. But in 2012 we were fired and received a redundancy fee. We got in the business with that small money. We ran throughout the city, district by district, kicking the street searching for the ideal place. Rental charges and terms are the main problem…we found this one, it was closed, it took a lot to find the owner, but eventually we got it. I used to say that this place is like Galicia: it’s the world’s end. You go to Galicia and come back, it’s not on the way to anywhere, and beyond the Arrikitaun there is only an industrial estate, and a brothel.
- You are in Igara, mainly a business and office area: Why did you choose this location?
- Price was key. There was a real difference respect to other normal areas, and I am no talking about Center or Gros district, 50 or 60 percent less.