Terraces in five Gràcia squares to close one hour earlier after noise complaints

Bars denounce ‘unfair’ measure despite being allowed to open more tables in the same space as compensation

Terraces in Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia in Barcelona (by Natàlia Segura)
Terraces in Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia in Barcelona (by Natàlia Segura) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 9, 2022 03:59 PM

Five squares in the Barcelona neighborhood of Gràcia will have bar terraces closed one hour earlier than others after noise complaints from local residents. 

The decision from the Barcelona city council will see terraces close at midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and evenings before bank holidays, and at 11pm from Sunday to Thursday, between April and October. Between October and April, closing hours will only be brought forward to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and evenings before bank holidays.

However, as a manner of compensating the bars, they will be allowed to offer more tables on the terraces. 

The council ruling affects the following squares in the neighborhood of Gràcia: del Sol, de la Vila, Diamant, Virreina, and Revolució. 

Councilor Eloi Badia has explained that the terraces in Plaças de Sol, de la Vila, and Diamant will be able to add two tables from 8 p.m. until they close on days when the hours are reduced, and in Revolució, establishments can add one during all opening hours.

The measures will come into force when all the administrative procedures have been completed after the premises affected can submit appeals and these are resolved. The council's forecast is that it will be at the beginning of September. In any case, it will be after the Festes de Gràcia, which starts next Monday, August 15.

Noise sensors installed in these squares show that the permitted limits are continuously exceeded by 3 decibels at night. "What we are interested in is that the noise goes down from 11 o'clock, which is when the legislation forces us to be much more demanding with noise," the councilor emphasized.

Businesses denounce ‘unfair’ measure

The news has not gone down well among bar owners in the neighborhood. "It's a shame!" complains Melisa, who owns a bar in Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia and is outraged by the council's measure. 

After going through a lot of difficulties during the pandemic, Melisa sees this restriction as a new obstacle to her financial recovery that she does not think will reduce the noise at night.

David, in charge of the Sol Soler bar, told the Catalan News Agency that he regrets that the obligation to close terraces an hour earlier will only apply to squares and complains that there will be "unfair competition".

"It's a bit unfair because there will be competition between the bars," says David, who nevertheless agrees with the limitation on the condition that "people's mentality is changed to have dinner earlier." 

As a resident of the neighborhood, he believes that it is a measure that can be good to reduce the noise although it "means less profit" for the bars. "We will have to try to get people used to coming earlier for dinner," he remarks.

Five squares in the Barcelona neighborhood of Gràcia will have bar terraces closed one hour earlier than others after noise complaints from local residents. 

The decision from the Barcelona city council will see terraces close at midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and evenings before bank holidays, and at 11pm from Sunday to Thursday, between April and October. Between October and April, closing hours will only be brought forward to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and evenings before bank holidays.

However, as a manner of compensating the bars, they will be allowed to offer more tables on the terraces. 

The council ruling affects the following squares in the neighborhood of Gràcia: del Sol, de la Vila, Diamant, Virreina, and Revolució. 

Councilor Eloi Badia has explained that the terraces in Plaças de Sol, de la Vila, and Diamant will be able to add two tables from 8 p.m. until they close on days when the hours are reduced, and in Revolució, establishments can add one during all opening hours.

The measures will come into force when all the administrative procedures have been completed after the premises affected can submit appeals and these are resolved. The council's forecast is that it will be at the beginning of September. In any case, it will be after the Festes de Gràcia, which starts next Monday, August 15.

Noise sensors installed in these squares show that the permitted limits are continuously exceeded by 3 decibels at night. "What we are interested in is that the noise goes down from 11 o'clock, which is when the legislation forces us to be much more demanding with noise," the councilor emphasized.

Businesses denounce ‘unfair’ measure 

The news has not gone down well among bar owners in the neighborhood. "It's a shame!" complains Melisa, who owns a bar in Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia and is outraged by the council's measure. 

After going through a lot of difficulties during the pandemic, Melisa sees this restriction as a new obstacle to her financial recovery that she does not think will reduce the noise at night.

David, in charge of the Sol Soler bar, told the Catalan News Agency that he regrets that the obligation to close terraces an hour earlier will only apply to squares and complains that there will be "unfair competition".

"It's a bit unfair because there will be competition between the bars," says David, who nevertheless agrees with the limitation on the condition that "people's mentality is changed to have dinner earlier." 

As a resident of the neighborhood, he believes that it is a measure that can be good to reduce the noise although it "means less profit" for the bars. "We will have to try to get people used to coming earlier for dinner," he remarks.