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July 24, 2002

By Alex Dominguez
from the you knew it couldn't last dept.

SADA, (Oleiros, La Coruña) _ It seems like it was only yesterday. Who could ever forget Eulalio _ or Eugenio, or whatever was his name _ rolling a barrel of wine down the street and into Casa Nosa, the place that couldn’t decide whether it was a bar, a restaurant or a garage.

And now it’s gone, to make way for more pisos, the name for condominiums in Spain.

We got in the car on a rainy night, hoping to get some pimientos de Padron, jamon Serrano, maybe some pig’s ear or blood sausage, and a jarra de ribeiro from the barrel. And if we were lucky, all while 70- and 80-year-old men in sweaters and caps sang folk songs whose age made them seem like infants in comparison.

Instead, we were greeted by scaffolding and trudged off to eat in a ``real’’ restaurant while remembering Casa Nosa. It seemed born of the post Civil War desperation I had sensed in my father and others who left Spain in the years he did _ a kind of ``we better get something going here, or elsewhere, because noone is going to help us’’ mentality.

The bar was painted battleship grey, the wood barrels rested behind the bar on cross beams fashioned roughly from tree limbs. An aluminum ladder often rested across the top. Hams and sausages hung drying from the rafters, occasionally dripping grease on the smooth concrete floor, refreshingly cool in the summer.

The barrels were tapped with a large wood mallet, which was used to push in the bung and drive in the tap, wrapped in newspaper to keep it from leaking.

The owner’s son often could be seen drinking red wine and Coca Cola while eating, which seemed particulary suited to the basement decor. So now, there’s one less place where you can find old men who know how to grow, raise or make almost everything they needed to survive.

Posted by Alex at July 24, 2002 10:10 AM
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