Taverns, places for men to relate

Taverns, places for men to relate
1950s. Rafael’s tarvern, in El Rodadero ranch, near Los Hurones dam (Cádiz). From the left, the photo shows Segundo Suárez, an unidentified person, José Benítez (holding a syphon), next Reyes, behind Rafael the owner of the tavern, and, in the foreground, Manolo ‘el Beato’, who worked freelance making coal ovens. Photograph courtesy of Pepe Benítez

Taverns, places for men to relate

Taverns, which sold wine and some food, were found in the villages of huts. They had stone walls and a turf roof, as we can see in the photo, and were the only businesses outside the town built by Portolés y Compañía S.A. People remember six taverns during the period of construction of the dam. Juan Pan’s tavern consisted of a room with a counter, some carafes of wine in wicker and some small tables. El Cabezo tavern served soups, stews and fish, if the fishmonger came.

Taverns places for men to meet and socialise, in a context of drinking alcohol. The established gender division allowed the presence of women if there were fiestas. Paquita Pan (Algar, 1946), daughter and niece of tavern owners, says:

«Before the presence of women in bars was frowned upon. Women only went to the tavern to buy things, but the young women went to the dances. There was a large thatched portico at the door to my uncle’s tavern and a man would play the accordion there and they would dance.»