In Falset, there was a sweets shop at Carrer de Baix 12 called, Pastisseria López. The building it called home had two main features: a solid column, encrusted with some form of stone that matched the rest of the interior and then sitting at the main corner that is one of entrances to Plaça de la Quartera.
Plaça de la Quartera is the main nexus of Falset. Most of the 3,000 inhabitants in this small town pass through it near daily and it’s where the town hall or ajuntament sits at the top. It slopes downhill from Carrer de Dalt to Carrer de Baix–literally, the upper street and the lower street as imaginations were in short supply when the business of naming things came to be centuries ago. The weekly market takes place here. Children run about or hop down the large stone steps while their parents or grandparents sit on one of the many benches. In a word, it’s charming, but it’d drive me insane to live there with all the activity.
This was not lost on Pastisseria López. A fine business that’s been open for innumerable decades, it was “just” a sweets shop and they realized they could do better when the address of Plaça de la Quartera 24 opened up as they could expand to have seating and things to drink with their sweets. If you were to hold a gun to my held and tell me I had 30 seconds to tell you what was there before this move, I’d be dead in 30 seconds as for the life of me, it forms a black hole of space, time, and memory. I feel as if I’ve forced myself to forget what may have been there via hypnotic regression as once Pastisseria López moved to this location, it seemed like it had been the sole occupant since the building went up some hundreds of years ago.
While Calaix de Sastre is a fine little bar to grab a vermut at the top of the square, its hours are irregular. There’s another bar in what is the Casal de l’Avi but the casals are rough, old man affairs in Spain that interest me little, short of the one in nearby Capçanes. So there was a gaping hole in the fabric comprising coffee-based leisure of Plaça de la Quartera and Pastisseria López has filled it well.
It’s not gone unnoticed on the locals who happily flock to it for their mid-morning breakfast, now able to crowd the tables while their children bounce around the square. I’ve no idea if this brave change of location for the shop will work forever, but there are some times when change is most definitely good.