The building where the inn and the bar are located dates of the year 1850. The history of the family Grau-Fabregas begins with the opening of the Bar Centric in the year 1862. This bar was inaugurated by Mr.Grau´s parents. In Barcelona at the beginning of 20th century , none establishment had official name and it was then, when the goverment established a new law that allowed the use of a commercial name. As per this bar, the name of "Centric" comes from a popular petition, due to its good location.
In the past, the streets were pedestrian and the "Bar Centric" enjoyed an external terrace. Typical of those years was the homemade vermouth and the fried potatoes made by the grandmother Mercedes, owner of the bar. For a long time, this bar was a meeting point for many people that live in the neighborhood and some artists as well
The "Bar Centric" is also part of the literature and authors like Roberto Bolaño (Chilean writer) and Josep Plà (Catalan writer) have made reference to this bar in some of its works. At the moment it continues being a characteristic bar of Ciutat Vella, cosmopolitan and sweet at the same time. Announcements like Dolce Gabana, short films and video clips have been recorded in the bar Centric. Recently a sequence of an Hispanic-Chilean film called 199 recepies to be happy was recoreded in this bar.
Concerning the hostel "Hostería Grau", located in the same building, was inaugurated in the year 1941. In the past, the ground floor where the reception is located now, had been a coalyard and the Grau-Fabregas family lived in the first floor. The bombings of the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) didn't damage the building and the neighbours said that there was a hiding place in the basement of the reception that was used as refuge of the war in those times.
Along the years, the inn became a guest house
The meaning of the shield is creation of Mr.Grau and you can appreciate, on one hand the last name and the year of inauguration of the bar centric. You can also see the shield of Barcelona, as well as a cluster of grapes that symbolize the sale of wine. Lastly is distinguished a carriage that represents the "stop" in an inn. This shield is the union of the two businesses, the Bar Centric and the Hostería Grau.
Mr. Grau began with this business and it passed over to his son Félix Grau Torrents (that in that time lived in New York) and its daughter-in-law Lidia Robles.In 1993 they reformed it and enlarged it. At the moment their daughter Monica runs this place and the last renovation was in 2006, always maintaining the Catalan old style.
Nowadays Hostal Grau is no longer the guesthouse that used to be it will be in a few months, the first LEED certified hotel in Barcelona.
Thanks to you Felix ....Always in my my mind and heart.