The art of the small business, the mom-and-pop shop, is something that Americans are desperately trying to bring back to its former force. In cities like New Orleans and New York, walkable places constructed before the highway boom, they still exist and thrive. In Spain, they are alive and well...perhaps not as strong as they once were due to the influx of chains, but still going.
Recently, I posted about some of San Sebastián's most special and ancient shops. There are more, and I want to keep the series going to feature these shops 'de toda la vida', honorable places where families do what they do best for years and years. Also, tourists, great places to get real souvenirs.
shop: Almacenes Arenzana
wares: fabric, rope, cords, burlap, cork
don't miss: This family business in the center is a beautiful space. Tall ceilings and huge windows make the exterior of this shop, founded in 1900, quite striking. Walk inside and dark wooden shelves are stocked with an incredible array of cork, ribbons, ropes, and burlap. You can't help but feel your creative juices pumping.
address: Getaria Kalea, 14
shop: Vinos Ezeiza
wares: wines, liquors, and other fine beverages
don't miss: This is one of San Sebastián's few remaining wine shops, and one of the only ones that remains unchanged after so many years. Besides stocking some fine wines (think Vega Sicilia and co.), they also have probably the largest selection of liquor minis and some fine homemade patxaran (Basque berry liquor). You can also get bottles filled to your specifications of vermouth and vino.
address: Prim Kalea, 16
Stay tuned for Part Three....I got lots of great leads via San Sebastián friends and acquaintances that I have to pursue.