As the story goes, tapas came about first by necessity and led to lazy innovation: bartenders would serve beer or sherry with a saucer on top to keep the flies out, and soon after saw that serving a small snack on the saucer was an opportunity to both encourage guests to return or to keep them sober enough to stay for another. Como Taperia is a nod to the classic, centuries-old, standing-room-only tapas bars in Barcelona’s Poble Sec or Madrid’s La Latina quarters. These spaces are tight, acoustics are loud and you may or may not be offered a place to sit, favouring conversation and community over intimacy and comfort.
Our access point to the materiality and colour strategy came from one particular reference, Jardins de les 3 Xemeneies, and its three brick chimneys that backdrop the bustling Poble Sec–the only remains of an early 20th century power station built by the Barcelona Traction, Power and Light Company ( a Canadian utility company that operated light and power utilities in Catalonia, Spain) locally known as La Canadiense for the old company’s Canadian electricity production. Opening a tapas bar in Canada, this history acted as a leeway into exploring the vernacular of this neighbourhood, allowing Como to become a contemporary materialization–an homage to all we love about Spain.
The rest was an exercise in keeping things simple and fun and letting a few other cool points of inspiration stand out against this backdrop like the punches of cobalt blue reminiscent of Miro and the art program taking Jean Arp’s work as a point of departure.
All these elements culminate in an inviting, charming spot to connect with friends and loved ones for a few unfussy snacks and drinks: ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro y pa dentro!