The 4 Cats (1897) – “food for the spirit”
A Catalan man called Pere Romeu was working in Le Chat Noir, Paris, at the end of the XIX century, when he figured out that he could bring the same business idea to Barcelona. And so he did.
Little by little, Els Quatre Gats became something more than a copy of the Parisian referent. The restaurant quickly turned into a watering hole for members of Barcelona‘s bohemian set. Modernist writers, poets and artists gathered here to exchange ideas, meet each other’s sisters and get drunk. In addition to socialising, the groups also organised musical meetings, literary circles, gatherings, conferences, exhibitions and every other activity that could amuse the minds of the creative set.
Shows of Chinese shadows and of marionettes were put on and, to announce them, Ramón Casas painted posters following the fashion of the time. In 1899, a young Pablo Picasso held his first-ever exhibition at the restaurant, and it was there that he received his very first paid commission – designing the front cover of the menu.