A CAFE once frequented by Federico Garcia Lorca, Ernest Hemingway and Eva Gardner could be forced to close after its iconic terrace was sold to the highest bidder.

The longstanding Cafe Gijon which sits on the main boulevard of the Recoletos area in Madrid lost out in a bidding war with larger company Endre Santa Engracia who offered to pay €144,000, doubling that of the café owners at €70,000.

The decision was purely money-based, despite many people, including Socialist leader, Jaime Lissavetzky, calling for a debate on the cultural implications of such a change.