In the Café de Chinitas, Paquiro’s brother said to him: “I’m braver than you, a better bullfighter and more gypsy”. The famous verse of García Lorca, as is only fitting, is the musical theme of one of the most renowned flamenco tablaos in Madrid.
Opened in 1970, the Verdasco family, deeply involved in restauration, decided that one of their properties around the plaza de Oriente would be made into a flamenco tablao, a type of business that was quite fashionable in Madrid during the era.
It was constructed within a small 18th century residential palace inspired in the Málaga Café de Chinitas, at that time closed, and which Lorca made universal. An era in which tablaos were the most exclusive nighttime entertainment in Madrid and were visited by the highest rung of society, both local and from abroad. Artists such as José Mercé, Serranito, Carmen Linares, Enrique Morente, La Chunga and many other flamenco stars who worked daily in tablaos and who are currently recognized stars of the genre.
Café de Chinitas has a flamenco and bullfighting decor throughout, and the stage is decorated with embroidered shawls, an element that has come to be the identifying image of the venue.
The flamenco show currently featured at the Café de Chinitas tries to maintain the spirit of the tablao era, with up to 12 artists on stage, 4 guitarists, 2 singers, 4 dancers in the group and two guest artists, one male and one female dancer. Possibly the only flamenco tablao in Madrid that has kept the format of a flamenco tablao group.
It all starts out with the presentation of all the performers on stage, a singing or guitar solo, the dance of a guest artist and the flamenco group in which four female dancers perform, alternating the most festive and identifiable forms. Alegrías, bulerías, rumbas, soleá and guajiras, and always closing with sevillanas danced with castanets, something difficult to come across these days.
The first show
The first show begins at 8:30pm and ends at 10pm. You may enter beginning at 7pm to have dinner or to dine while you watch the show. If you wish to have a drink, the recommended time to arrive is at 8:15pm.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
The second show
The second show begins at 10:30pm and ends at 12 midnight. You may enter beginning at 10pm to have dinner or dine while you watch the show. If you wish to have a drink, the recommended time to arrive is at 10:15pm.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Gastronomy & prices
At Café de Chinitas you have a wide selection of typically Spanish cuisine, from the classic tapas – cured ham, cheese, cured tuna, tortilla, croquettes – to rice dishes, vegetables, meats, etc. From a large family with a long restaurant tradition in Madrid.
There are also individual menus beginning at 62 euros, dinner and show, and even special menus for groups with reservation. If you’re just going to see the show the price is 38 euros with drink included.