AN iconic expat-run chiringuito in Spain’s Alicante has been suddenly shut down by authorities, leaving over 100 workers afloat amid coronavirus lockdown.
La Siesta, part of Javea’s leading restaurant group Javea Company, announced last week that Alicante’s Provincial Coastal Service had ‘sealed’ them off.
La Siesta said ‘for reasons they don’t know’ their allegations against the service – known in Spanish as Costas – have gone unanswered.
A change.org petition challenging the shutdown has hit 2,000 signatures, complaining that the state of alarm had cut off communications with authorities.
“Hundreds of jobs are directly affected, not to mention those that depend on La Siesta’s custom,” a statement reads.
However, according to local reports, La Siesta has faced five legal proceedings from authorities due to environmental, urbanistic and spacial problems since opening in 2001.
The most recent one, in February 2019, dates back to a case in which La Siesta allegedly worked on a septic tank without permission.
The establishment also allegedly built a cocktail bar, various gazebos and installed a market stall on municipal land without permission.
Councillor Jose Luis Luengo said during a council meeting that ‘every years Costas fines them, they pay, and continue doing the same’.
Javea Company boss Edgar Slama, from France, told the council he was ‘more than happy’ to comply with council rules, but it is not yet clear for what particular reason La Siesta has been shut down.
The much-loved chiringuito’s social media continues to post positive messages with the hashtag ‘there’s no summer without la siesta’.
The business’ plight has also appeared on local television networks.