Madrid may be infinite, but not its luxury spaces. Even less so those that represent a ‘bocato di cardinale’ for the restaurant industry, an activity that is experiencing a real boom in the capital. This is the only way to explain, for example, the sudden interest in establishments that, despite their privileged location, have been unloved for years.
Within this particular gastronomic Monopoly, where opportunities are becoming scarce while awaiting rumoured transfers, Madrid City Council has its own trump cards to stimulate the market. And, if there is a municipal diamond in the rough that has been waiting, it is undoubtedly the Café de Cervantes, in the heart of Plaza de España.
Since the reopening of the Plaza de España in November 2021, there has been speculation that the kiosk, which will house a cafeteria integrated into the surrounding gardens, would be put out to tender. The wait came to an end at the beginning of April, when the council published the tender documents for the operation, execution of works and conservation of the public cafeteria for the next 15 years.
Groups such as La Máquina and Larrumba are willing to go all out for the concession of the space.
According to the tender budgets, the launch of the establishment will require an investment of more than one million euros. These refurbishment costs could be reduced and, in view of the expectation of a business with more than 200 metres of terrace space and without fixed maximum prices, have sparked a competitive bidding among the large restaurant groups in Madrid.
According to information consulted by Sivarious, up to eight operators applied for the award process, although the list of final candidates is reduced to six names. Among them are some of the most active players in the culinary scene of the capital, such as the Larrumba group or La Máquina. Both share a fondness for prime locations, but the effort required to gain access to certain premises at current market prices has slowed their growth in the capital. Therefore, they are willing to go all out to win the concession for the kiosk.
Also competing is Lamucca Holding, which since the arrival of Fernando López as CEO is very attentive to new opportunities for operations in the capital before considering the leap to the rest of Spain or abroad. In this case, it competes with another strong company, the Allard Group. In recent months it has made significant investments as part of its alliance with Martín Berasategui in Club Allard and Madrí Madre. Allard aims to become strong in the Plaza de España area, as does its neighbour Sandó Restaurante.
Last but not least, but with the same predisposition, the Casa Remigio Group aspires to take over the concession. With a presence in Madrid and Cádiz, this company is active in the areas of Madrid Rio, Retiro, Casa de Campo and in the south in El Puerto de Santa María, Santi Petri, Zahara de los Atunes and Tarifa.