The world right now is so surreally bizarre … and that is the kindest way that we can put it. Every single bar, bartender and bar guest around the world has been affected by COVID-19 in one way shape or form and we are all scrambling to figure out how to implement the buzz phrases of 2020 to pivot and find new normals. When Two Schmucks in Barcelona planned their reopening after lockdowns, they recognized that their local clientele had been devastated financially and would not be able to afford the luxury of overly fancy expensive cocktails. So they conceptualized their reopening cocktail menu to be an affordable dedication to their neighborhood named Barrio Cocktails – 5 Cocktails by 5 Bartenders for 5 Euros.
Two Schmucks Co-Founder, Moe Aljaff shares, “When we examined the financial situation of most people in our neighborhood, we understood that the Covid Lockdowns had been devastating, a small percentage of people here got financial support – most of those who got approved have still not received anything for the last 4 months and is still waiting – and as with any bar & restaurant community you have a big percentage of immigrant workers on ”bad contracts” or you have illegal immigrants – most of them Bar & Restaurant workers – with no contracts, that can’t go home and received no financial help. Knowing a lot of the people here and what they were going through, it freaking sucked and as we re-opened – also quite broke haha – we understood that we needed to show some love to Raval somehow.”
Barrio Cocktails at Two Schmucks
Barrio Cocktails Concept Explained by Moe Aljaff
At Two Schmucks we keep striving to learn more and more about our neighborhood and clientele, instead of deciding on what they should have we decided that we want to grow together with the neighborhood. Barrio Cocktails – Barrio meaning Neighborhood in Spanish – was an idea born throughout the lockdown that we were determined to implement into our menu as we opened post the Covid lockdowns.
At Two Schmucks we’ve always retained that what makes a great team, a great community and a great industry, specifically for food & drink is diversity, when people from all around the world come together, the results are unmatched.
Moving to the El Raval area of Barcelona as non-Spanish speaking immigrant we found our new home, an all accepting small eco-system of people from all around the world that shares their art, food, drink, music and culture.
We made the decision with our team to create a menu of 5 well-made cocktails, offer them for only 5 euros with each one made by one of our 5 bartenders who are all from different parts of the world. We fully understand that we will not make any profit from these for the three months that we would do this, but we decided for it for the following reasons – We want to be there to support our neighborhood in the only way we knew how to, by making drinks and being of service. Wo instead of going for a profit, we calculated what we would need just to cover all the costs of our operation. As talks of a recession & bad financial times are happening we want to continue spreading our love for our cocktail culture, create a good atmosphere and a form of escapism in these times. By taking down the price of the cocktail closer to the price of a beer or a wine in Spain we figured it would be more inclusive, for anyone from our neighborhood to enjoy regardless of how hard the last few months have been.
Follow Two Schmucks / Moe on Instagram – @schmuckordie
Sending so much love to the homies at Two Schmucks and we promise to come and visit when the world tells us it is safe again.
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