A Barcelona summer without xiringuitos. More than 90% of the beach bars in the Catalan capital have given up the idea of opening this summer because of the coronavirus. According to the newspaper El Periódico, Barcelona beach bar operators have decided to give up their concessions as they anticipate that it will not be economically viable to put out their tables this summer. In fact, they consider that opening for only half of the season and with restrictions on capacity due to social distancing measures will make it impossible for the business to be profitable.
The coronavirus pandemic has been the definitive reason for the closure of this tourism subsector, after operators had been negotiating for months with the Barcelona city council to reduce rentals. Bars have been paying more than half a million euros a season for their prime terrace locations looking out onto the Mediterranean, eagerly filled during Barcelona's long summer, mostly by visitors.
Faced with two months of inactivity and the uncertainty of when they will be able to open the beer taps, the vast majority of the 15 businesses consider that the city council's conditions are completely "unacceptable", as social distancing rules will make it impossible for the businesses to be economically viable.
In fact, at present there are only two businesses that have not yet decided what to do, and the decision on opening this summer has to be communicated to the city council in the coming days. If none of the bars open, it will mean the direct loss of about 600 jobs.