BARS UNDER THREAT: Authentic bars in the Balearics are slowly disappearing

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BAR LIFE: The number of bars in the Balearics has fallen (file photo). CREDIT: Shutterstock

TRADITIONAL bars are slowly ‘disappearing’ in Palma as modern businesses cater for a different type of clientele and costs force closures.

In 2010, there were just over 4,000 bars in the islands, but this number began to fall to around 3,400 at the start of this year.

Statistics show that last year there was an increase for the first time in seven years, but with a notable change from traditional to more modern, particularly in the centre of Palma and coastal areas.

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The Mallorca Restaurants’ Association claims the trend is towards the ‘disappearance’ of the traditional bar and members have highlighted the higher cost of labour following the latest ‘collective agreement’ for the hospitality sector.

The agreement will see a 17 per cent salary increase whether the establishment is a hotel or a bar.

In villages, too, generational changes and regulatory and market factors, such as rising rent costs, have had an impact, leading to the closure of bars which once served as community centres.

The Association acknowledged that in some areas there may have been too many bars but, in specific parts of the island, would like to see some form of ‘freeze’ on the influences that are driving up costs.

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