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About Sacarello's Cafe - Restaurant in Irish Town Gibraltar

Café Sacarello

Follow the aroma all the way down
Via Tuckey’s Lane into Irish Town.
Through Charles Dickens windows and Spanish doors,
Into a haven of well-worn floors.
As the doors swing open to let you in,
Your ears are met with a clamouring din;
Of a clink and a clunk and a whoosh of steam,
And the tap, tap, tap from the feet of a team
Of busy girls with teetering trays,
Working their way through the wooden maze.

For those who love coffee and loose leaf tea,
Pan de Pelayo and scones at three,
Edge through the crowds and find where to sit,
In the gallery, patio, terrace or pit.
The seat in the corner above the stairs
Is usually reserved for illicit affairs.
She’s there at nine but he’ll be late,
As his wife drinks her coffee in the pit at eight.

One old boy has the window seat
All to himself and begins to eat
A plate of stew and a hunk of bread,
All washed down with a glass of red.
He comes to the café to chat with the girls,
Read the paper and watch the world
Go by outside on the cobbled streets,
Just relishing the scene and the food he eats.

The infamous Juani commands the front bar,
Don’t think she can’t see you, she knows who you are.
Her beady brown eyes will shoot you a stare
From beneath the fringe of her short cropped hair.
She’s been here longer than all the machines,
She can boast that she roasts all the best coffee beans.
With a flick of her wrist she’ll prepare you a brew
Cortado, manchado, to name but a few.

All walks of life have trod these floors,
From well-heeled lawyers to political bores,
Breastfeeding mothers and local priests
Offering counsel amidst the shrieks
Of chattering students and Westside girls,
Coming of age in this social whirl.
The hoi-polloi sit cheek-by-jowl
With the bad and the mad and the fair and the foul.

Those who are canny will soon realise
The art of deception, deceit and disguise.
If you take the front stairs and go out the back way,
No one will know you have been in today!
Midst the clink and the clank of the china cups,
These wise old walls have witnessed the ups
And the downs of this town for a hundred years,
Its secrets, its lies, its hopes and its fears.

On occasion you’ll chance to glimpse a sneak-peek
Of a towering gent with a regal physique.
He floats round the café giving commands
With wide-sweeping gestures from theatrical arms.
He lunches each day at precisely half-two
His staff bustle round him, they know what to do.
Agua con gas in a pint glass with lime,
If he’s in the mood he may even drink wine.
He’ll glide back upstairs to the office above
And manage to manage the café he loves.

And speaking of love and of loyalty too,
The people keep coming and why wouldn’t you?
With the clinks and the clanks and the whooshes of steam,
And the rat-a-tat-tat from the feet of the team;
Of Rocio and Paqui and Nieves and all
Of the glorious staff who will welcome your call
For cortados, manchados, espressos and more,
Sacarello’s is there for us all to explore.
Just follow the aroma all the way down
Via Tuckey’s Lane into IrishTown.

By Rebecca Faller, December 2013

About Sacarello’s


Sacarello’s is an iconic coffee shop, café / restaurant in Irish Town the old ‘commercial street’ of Gibraltar. It occupies the former warehouse of an early 19th Century merchant house.

Sacarello’s is also the story of the Gibraltarian and how many present-day Gibraltarian business families similarly had ancestors who emigrated from Northern Italy in the mid 18th and early 19th Century and came to Gibraltar to seek a new life and see what the Rock had to offer.

Renowned for its locally freshly roasted coffees there is always a busy atmosphere, whether at morning coffee, lunch or teatime; customers can read the local newspapers which are provided or browse from the book shelf on the main bar.

Sacarellos Coffeee Shop, Cake Shop, Cafe & Restaurant Sacarello’s has a varied comprehensive homemade lunch menu with a balance of traditional English dishes such as Steak, Mushroom & Guiness Pie, Hot Chicken Salad, Italian Pasta and regional Andalucian venta-type dishes such as pollo empanado and estofados. The Mediterranean influence can be seen in the extensive use of extra virgin olive oil, fresh fish and seasonal local vegetables. The lunch menu features five ‘specials of the day’ on the chalkboards which change three times per week; fresh fish on Wednesdays; an ever-popular salad bar served alongside a range of our very popular delicious fresh quiches and other vegetarian options.

Homemade cakes and traditional afternoon high-tea bring the day to a close. Not surprisingly, Sacarello’s has become a bit of a local cultural centre; there is always an art exhibition on display and poetry readings, book launches and plays are also presented here.

Average price for Main Courses and Specials: £8 to £9
Snack menu available in the shop from 12.00 – 3.30

Sacarello’s Café can be found at 57 Irish Town, Gibraltar.

Telephone +350 20070625

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8.30 – 7.30, Saturday 9.00-3.00, Closed Sundays.

Private Functions can be arranged for the evenings on request
For information on Art Exhibitions please contact Genny


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