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Goodbye Norma Jean.

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

It's a hard life. As the remnants of Hurricane Dorian passed over the UK I found myself sitting in the Andalucian sunshine having just arrived for a spot of cat-sitting. A week or so later and my charge is still breathing so I must be doing something right.

The chance of some Spanish September sun also offers the opportunity to ride some different roads, roads free of the usual Derbyshire potholes, and to imbibe some different brews.

Whilst the roads and the brews might be different, the fate of some of the hostelries is the same. Just down the hill from my charge's abode in Jimena de la Frontera, where Calle Romo's ridiculous gradient eases and the road bends to the left, used to be Bar Marilyn.

It didn't take much effort to guess who the moniker 'Marilyn' referred to as a life-sized statue stood outside and was regularly draped in visitors wanting that photographic reminder of their visit.

Marilyn, not Monica!

With a large screen television it was always popular when major sporting events were on. I can recall trying hard not to fall off the raised seating platform watching Real Madrid play Barcelona whilst consuming Cruzcampo Gran Reserva. I know that I didn't perform a backward roll off the dais but have absolutely no recollection what the result of El Clásico was.

A far more sensible game in progress.

Sadly, on my last visit, in September 2018, I found Bar Marilyn closed. In 1952 Marilyn Monroe starred in Don't Bother to Knock. That seems to hold true today.

Bar Marilyn September 2018 ©Google 2019

STOP PRESS! Having to edit this as I'd written the above part in advance of my visit. Bar Marilyn has reopened as the Café-Bar La Cabra. Apparently it does a good breakfast. As yet, I haven't tested this personally but I have discovered that it doesn't open on Wednesdays!

Testing the quality of the breakfast will have to wait - until it's not Wednesday.

Now, two b's, or not two b's: that is the question. Even Billy Wiggledagger wasn't sure. In Calle Sevilla, the next parallel street, or as parallel as streets can be in an Andalucian white village, at number 18, stood Bar Obba - or maybe Bar Oba. I've seen both used and it's fairly obvious how the confusion might have arisen.

Spelt with just the single letter b, Bar Oba took its name from the title that the Romans gave to the settlement during their occupation which was, wait for it, Oba. With stunning views to the rear it was very popular with the English-speaking ex-pat community. When Iris and Simon gave it up it became known as Mingos and ohhhh! - those kebabs.

Sadly Oba/Mingos has gone and there is little to show that it is a bygone boozer. Number 18 now looks like any other house on the street.

I was caught out by Bar Marilyn. You never know, maybe next time I return I might witness the resurrection of the Oba. Hopefully breakfast at Bar Cabra will still be an option - unless, of course, it's Wednesday.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.

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