Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant
18 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich
222 Summer Street, Stamford
4180 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield
63.65 North Main Street, South Norwalk
Well, that was skeevy.
Before I dive into details, two things:
1. Barcelona is a delicious and delightful wine bar/tapas joint with a fun, noisy vibe.
2. After reading this write-up, the new (and very kind) general manager of Barcelona SoNo, who was not aware of a certain employee’s behavior, contacted me to apologize. He was very concerned and expressed intolerance of such behavior. As of this writing, I’m confident that certain Barcelona employees will never hit on a patron—or, perhaps, anyone—again.
Robin’s note: One of the managers hit on me. Not in a flattering or coy way, but in a “God, it’s getting late and I haven’t picked up a chick yet” way. So here’s the story: I and 5 of my girlfriends go for drinks at Barcelona SoNo. We meet at 9:00 and there are several tables of women having birthday parties, drinks, whatever. When I ask a manager for the location of the restroom, he holds out his arm to escort me to a set of two doors in a narrow corridor across from the large glass wine refrigerator. I half-heartedly take his arm, then slide my arm back because it’s so queer.
An hour later I’m up again to use the facilities (I drink a lot of water when I tipple) and find both bathroom doors locked.
Instead of staring at two closed doors I decide to tamper with the handles of the refrigerator. Suddenly a different manager pops up and says in a low voice, “Would you like me to unlock the wine refrigerator for you?”
Me: “It… doesn’t…”
Him: “I’ll get the key…”
He edges in for the kill “You’re very beautiful.”
A restroom door opens and I flee, lamely muttering something about having to use the bathroom. Once safely ensconced in the small room, I marvel: aren’t managers supposed to overlook the comfort of their patrons, not use them to fulfill personal fornication quotas (“forniquotas”)? More disturbingly, I’d been gifted an impossibly fertile ground for clever rejoinders and am too flummoxed to speak.
But Don Juan’s clearly not rooting for an interesting conversationalist. When I exit the bathroom he promptly flits to my side with a set of keys. He swiftly opens the wine refrigerator and invites me to feel inside. I dully put my ring hand in, allowing my wedding ring to sparkle at eye level.
“It’s cool,” I lamely contribute. Cool air. That’s his pick-up. And, I’m assuming, the reason why he’s not getting any.
Him: “What do you think the temperature is?”
Me: “I… don’t… 65?”
Him: “It’s 58 degrees.”
He steps closer to me, reciting his well-rehearsed punch-line, “You’re so beautiful.”
At this, I turn and leave, sadly realizing my worst nightmare: I’m a cougar. And Barcelona SoNo is, evidently, their lair.
Or so its managers must think.
Who’ll you’ll see eating here: Couples age 30-50 and giddy groups of partying cougars.
Their specialty: Spanish and Portuguese-inspired tapas.
What you should order: Love the tapas and lovely wine selection.
What you may not know but should: Don’t let my experience dissuade you from going; this “authentic” tapas bar is popular for good reason. And the waiters are terrific.