Bar Owners It’s Time to Leave Tenerife’s Time Capsule

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I have to admit to changing my views about all inclusive hotels on Tenerife. Don’t get me wrong, apart from where families are involved, I don’t believe they’ve got much to do with travel and still represent the dumbing down of what should be an exciting adventure – i.e. travelling to another land.

However, recently I’ve come to the conclusion that they have been painted as a convenient villain by bar owners who have, to be brutally blunt, become lazy. The first clue to this was when we stayed at the Roca Nivaria in Playa Paraiso and the growing belief that this was the case was fuelled further at Playa de la Arena recently.

Bars are suffering where there are AI hotels…but not all bars. The question that needs asking is this. Are bars suffering because of the presence of AI generally, or because what they are offering is far inferior than what visitors can get in their AI cocoon? If it’s the latter then, as Andy says in her blog, bar owners should stop bitchin’ and start to work to ensure that they raise their game.

For some it’s going to be difficult, or even nigh on impossible because their way of thinking has become outdated. They’ve spent too long on Tenerife without keeping an eye on developments in the outside world and still think that today’s visitors want exactly the same as they did 20 years ago.

Here’s an example of what I mean. We frequent the Beehive in Puerto de la Cruz. It’s aimed at a British clientele, but also attracts Scandinavians and the occasional Canario. We go there for two reasons. The first is to watch Manchester United; the second is that we like the staff a lot. However, the décor and the music they play haven’t changed in twenty years and so for us it is only a football watching bar. It has none of the ingredients that we’d look for in a bar when we go out in the evening.

When we went there last week we walked through a town that was buzzing with visitors and yet the bar was nowhere near full. A couple of times we’ve tried to broach the subject of why customer numbers are dropping, but it is always a non-starter. Once we suggested that they should take a look at places like St Eugene’s and Shenanigans in the south of Tenerife to see the sort of thing that visitors lapped up, but it fell on deaf ears.

This time we made a comment about the number of new bars opening in Puerto de la Cruz. In the past week we counted four new, trendy bars. All aimed at the resident Canario population. They were all modern, sexy and will no doubt be sensually lit and play good music. In short they were like the sort of bars we used to go to in Manchester seven years ago.

But when we mentioned these factors, this was the response.

“What we really need in Puerto is a little English café selling teas and Victoria sponges.”

VICTORIA SPONGES! I hadn’t even heard the term in a quarter of a century.

Listen, I can see fifty looming on the horizon and what I want are the Kings of Leon, Oasis and The Black Eyed Peas and from what I saw in the busiest bars in Costa Adeje and Playa de las Américas recently, so do an awful lot of people my age.
What I really don’t want in Puerto is a little old fashioned English café selling Victoria sponges, or a bar whose music is stuck in Nat King Cole’s era…even my mother doesn’t want that.

But there’s the rub – that’s what some bar owners really believe my age group wants. No doubt they’ll still be thinking that as they paste up the SE VENDE sign on their windows.

Could it actually be that in a perverse sort of way, AI might ultimately do Tenerife a favour?

  1. Think it is slightly worse in your area than mine but it certainly a trend that many for some reason want to follow.

    If I want a Victoria sponge I will make one, there is no way I would want one on holiday – and I’m more your mothers age LOL

  2. dragojac says:

    Absolutely right. They are seriously outdated in Puerto – probably why they are diminishing in numbers. Just as well the non-Brit bars are much better.

    I used to really like Victoria sponges…but had completely forgotten about them.

  3. dragojac says:

    More my mother’s age…get out of here LOL. I thought women usually knocked years off their age, not added them on.

  4. islandmomma Life on a Small Island and Beyond says:

    Been a long time coming. Most British bars cater only for a certain class of Brit. Don’t give a thought to alternative markets. In the south there is saturation anyway, which might not be the same problem. In fact most Britsh businesses are aghast if approached by any other nationality, and often don’t even have staff who speak Spanish, let alone a 3rd language……Russian for instance!

    • dragojac says:

      I don’t mind the fact that there are bars aimed specifically at the Brits – every nationality does it. In Puerto there are German bars, Scandi bars, South American bars etc and the bar in the blog is Canarian owned (he knew who the big spenders were when it came to drinking). But a lot seem to aim quite down market which is my gripe – I want bars I frequent to have some sort of panache. Just because a bar is a Brit bar doesn’t mean it has to be naff, but for some reason a lot are.

      Some of the nicest bars in Puerto aren’t Canarian owned, but they ain’t aimed at one particular market. A few years ago I had a conversation with a Brit bar owner who I’d remember reading an article about in Tenerife News or Island Connections which spouted the usual guff – great new British bar with a fantastic menu of…toasties, pies, baked potatoes etc, etc that sort of stuff. Same old, same old. No imagination, nothing different – yawn yawn, yawn.

      Unsurprisingly the bar was dead in summer when the Spanish came. Anyway I asked him why he didn’t put up signs in Spanish or even vary his menu to include, god forbid, tapas and his answer was – ‘waste of time having the Spanish, they’ll all sit around with one drink lasting them all night.’

      So he’d rather have nobody all summer long! He lasted maybe a year.

  5. Ian Meyer says:

    Many expat residents who live in Tenerife are fed up with the cheap nasty English bar syndrome. All of them no matter what part of the island you go to all seem rundown and unclean. The staff and owners seem to have all given up hope and use every excuse in the book as to why they are not busy. They all sell the same menu and most of the products they serve can now be bought in the bargain bucket section in Iceland’s frozen food supermarket. Unless you make the effort in today’s market you might as well close up now and switch the light off on your way out. I for one as well as most other English people i know never frequent British bars anymore in Tenerife.

  6. tenerife says:

    I liked up to you’ll obtain carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. sick indubitably come more beforehand once more as exactly the similar nearly a lot ceaselessly inside case you defend this hike.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s