The Chinatown in Barcelona

The relay has begun. With the same speed with which emerged the first ‘Chinatown’of Barcelona, centred on the axis of Trafalgar-ronda de Sant Pere wholesale textile trade, its activity is now disappearing. Asian vendors leave for tens to a polygon of Badalona, where they find more facilities and space. Some already have been replaced,mostly by business of catering and services, with an eye on tourism that runs through these streets that connect the Arc de Triomf and Urquinaona, heading to the Catalunya square. More than fifty empty premises in the three main roads await new entrepreneurs, while the neighborhood is disturbed by the possible commercial desertification of the area.


One of the young entrepreneurs who will prepare the opening of abusiness in what was the heart of the Barcelona ‘Chinatown’. He believes the ” potential of the district, characterized by their impressive centuries-old farms, with neighbors, office buildings and many comings and goings of travelers. Their story takesway to become topical: he sought and it felt local by the neighbourhood of Sant Pere to open a store of biological food, but he ran into the restrictive plan of uses of Ciutat Vella (where you can find the full paquistanis and closed the tap to the meal), which left him without a license, and had to think about a plan B.


The restrictive plan of uses of Ciutat Vella takes many entrepreneurs to local searchon the other side of the axis of Trafalgar, already in territory of the Eixample
The natural search was across the street from Trafalgar (land border) and try your luck in the Eixample, more permissive for the time being. After verify the exodus fromthe Chinese wholesalers and call dozens of posters of rent, he stumbled across an Asian businessman to mean moving and took the initiative before the local to reach the market. A space, Biobarri Méndez Núñez, 18-, which is personally decorated with natural woods, and which will open its doors in May. His wants to be a space of neighbourhood, but it is not the common note in the area. Steps away is Scooter Soul,a local renovated with charm to rent motorcycles and bikes to the traveller who comb through Barcelona.


Its head, Diego Bustos, carries a year in Trafalgar seeing how “all Chinese are” and gradually “movement”, people looking for venues, times with falling price occurs. Spaces of 80 to 150 meters are offered between 1,000 and 1,600 euros in general. Whatdoes not open, in any case, are new wholesale business.


The Chinese owner of Lile SCP is the last survivors of Trafalgar, with almost thirty lowered blinds that have left under minimal commercial activity. The man, who defends himself in Spanish, don’t know if resist or go. “Everyone will be Badalona, but there is a lot of competition, large ships and more and more expensive,” he says. For now, he wants to resist until gender of the store, because it has much merchandiseand “increasingly less sold”. Certifies it that a client of the Garraf, who works at street markets and confesses to come increasingly to Trafalgar. “This was more comfortable for me, but now that most are in Badalona I’m mostly there because there are much more gender.”


A historic businessman of the area and that he led the Association Esmoda, now inactive, it assumes that the shaft is in “suspense”, suffering because buyers who camefor price are disappearing (prefer the polygon). When the ‘Chinatown’ hatched there was controversy for the quality and price of their imports and unfair competition,but after more than one decade contributed to generate a flow of buyers who wentinto a few other shops. Now there is fear that the next step is the commercial wilderness. “Here many things you can do”, adds the businessman. But at the moment what comes are hotels in buildings that are empty, and “coffee shops in the Netherlands”.


In the ronda de Sant Pere, with a dozen Chinese shops closed, it confirms this trend.The next local open will be a Món Ibèric massagers. In recent times, had proliferatedthe supers run by paquistanis, up to five in a small stretch. Also the cafés or restaurants even in adjacent streets. Miquel, a neighbor with many years in Méndez Núñez,believes that the district now lives more expensive to tourism. “They have washed her face and is more secure,” says, witness of the change. “The Chinese were calm”, summarizes, and now there are uncertainties.

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