Historic 4Gats restaurant turns 125

The historic restaurant 4Gats turns 125. Cradle of modernism, the establishment at Carrer de Montsió 3 opened its doors on June 12, 1897. On that date, the businessman Peter Romeu and the painters Santiago Rusinol, Ramon Casas Y Michael Utrillo launched the space on the ground floor of Casa Martí, in a building by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. “It was created in the image and likeness of the cabaret The Chat Noir from Paris. The origin of the name 4Gats arose when Utrillo and Romeu were shaping the opening of the restaurant and they commented on it to their acquaintances. The most repeated response was “You will be four cats!” Explains the restaurant’s website.

Cover of the 4 Gats card, painted by Picasso / 4 GATS
Cover of the 4 Gats card, painted by Picasso / 4 GATS

As soon as the shutter was raised, 4Gats became a cultural benchmark in Barcelona. The restaurant organized social gatherings attended by illustrious personalities such as Antoni Gaudí, Joaquim Mir, Isidre Nonell, Ricard Canals, Adolf More, Manolo Hugue, Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados, Luis Millet either Ricard Opiso.

PICASSO MADE THE RESTAURANT MENU

A young 17-year-old painter who had just arrived in Barcelona also attended these events. It was about Pablo Picasso. In 1899, the artist from Malaga held his first individual exhibition at 4Gats and created the image of the letter. Since 4Gats, magazines such as Pel and plumb, 4 Cats and performances of Chinese plays were held, a fashion that came to the Catalan capital from Paris. More recently, in 2008, the restaurant was one of the filming locations Vicky Cristina Barcelonathe movie of Woody Allen starring Scarlett Johansson, rebecca hall Y Javier Bardem.

A scene from 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' at 4Gats / 4GATS
A scene from ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ at 4Gats / 4GATS

4Gats continues to be “one of the most important restaurants in Barcelona due to all the history behind it”, says Alberto Mejiaswho was the founder of Emblematics Barcelona, an initiative to help preserve the city’s emblematic shops. “Keep all the memories of your best years.” The 4Gats is one of the historic restaurants in Barcelona along with Can Curelletes, The snails and the 7 ports, among others. “They are the essence of our gastronomy. They were cultural centers at the time and gave the city its name. They are part of Barcelona’s DNA.”

OTHER EMBLEMATIC RESTAURANTS

Mejías remembers the names and families behind these restaurants: Paco Sole Parellada (7 ports), Bofarull family (The Snails) and Alicia Y Montse Agut Manubens (Can Culleretes). And he cites, among other emblematic or historical restaurants in Barcelona, Ca l’EstevetCan Ramonet -from 1753-, and the Boqueria Pinotxo. “In all of them you eat very well, with a more than respectable value for money, and very careful attention from the staff.”

Currently, the Ferré family is in charge of 4Gats. The restaurant was bought by Josep Maria Ferre in 1987, and now the business is run by his children: Lluís, Iván, Òscar and Sílvia. Sergi Cámara, of communication of the Ferre Group of restoration, explains that the objective of the business is to recover after about two and a half stopped by the pandemic and resume the cultural activities that the space did before confinement, such as short story contests Pel and plumb and of sketching (quick paint).

Tables at the 4Gats restaurant in Barcelona / 4 GATS
Tables at the 4Gats restaurant in Barcelona / 4 GATS

RECOVERY OF THE ‘4GATS’ MAGAZINE

The restaurant celebrated its 125th anniversary at a dinner this Monday attended by the Councilor for Commerce Montserrat Ballarin. The event has served to resume what was a historical publication, the 4Gats, a magazine of art, culture and gastronomy. In this two-page issue, the publisher reflects on how badly the restaurant sector has had a hard time during the coronavirus crisis, includes the menu for the 125th anniversary dinner and publishes the recipe for the “true” aioli. According to Cámara, the intention is for the magazine to come out every month and little by little to expand its content, with interviews with personalities from the cultural world of Barcelona, ​​for example.

Installed in the heart of Gòtic, 4Gats specializes in traditional Catalan cuisine. And the idea of ​​the Ferré family is to promote it so that the people of Barcelona are the main clients of the restaurant. “We are getting up thanks to the people of the city and we want to return the restaurant to Barcelona,” says Cámara.

The interior of the 4Gats restaurant / CEDIDA - ALBERTO MEJÍAS
The interior of the 4Gats restaurant / CEDIDA – ALBERTO MEJÍAS

PLATES TO SNACK, TOAST AND RICE WITH LOBSTER

The 4Gats has two differentiated spaces, a gastrobar, designed for a drink or for informal meetings, and the restaurant. The menu includes snacks, toast and 36 dishes -including rice with lobster, suquet monkfish, beef fillet tartare and cannelloni-, and wines from twenty different appellations of origin.

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