Madrid’s most famous cafe mysteriously closes without warning after 128 years of service

After 128 years, Madrid's famous coffeehouse has closed abruptly to the surprise of employees and public alike

LAST UPDATED: 28 Jul, 2015 @ 12:06
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MADRID’S most famous coffeehouse has closed after more than a century of service. 

Cafe Comercial, hotspot for Spain’s top intellectuals, has mysteriously shut its doors to the surprise of employees and the public, after 128 years.

Cafe Comercial is famous for its old-fashioned aesthetic
Cafe Comercial is famous for its old-fashioned aesthetic

Announced over Facebook, the café’s owners offered no reason for the closure. Employees reported that the severance documents listed only that the management didn’t want to continue running the business.

Founded in March of 1877, the coffeehouse has been run by the Contreras family since 1909, now by the third generation.

The café has drawn a constant stream of celebrities and intellectuals to its famous debates called tertulias, from journalist Cortes Cavanillas to actor Antonio Casals.

In 2000, the Café Comercial received the regional government award for being the best coffeehouse in the city.



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  1. A lot of development in that area. The new Ibis hotel seems to have done very well, as indeed have the various international restaurants, and across the way the calle Fuencarral is booming with fashion and trendy outlets. I suspect the Cafe Comercial simply couldn’t charge the prices it needed. Most people I know in Madrid would never go there for tapas or a meal, although there were various groups who met up there for an intercambio or chess session. Sadly I fear that those groups attract the type of customer who rarely spent much. Still, we may find out more in the weeks to come.

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