I’m Lost. I’m struggling to think of where to begin my first blog post. Aptly, there’s probably no better place, as we, me and my partner, Luna, sip from a bottle of Dharma beer in a LOST themed bar in downtown Barcelona.
Looking for something to do on a late Tuesday afternoon, Luna suggested we visit the Dharma Bar. “Dharma? Dharma?” i replied. “Yes, from the TV show, LOST” “Espera (I Spanglish well – and Luna’s Spanish), there’s a bar from the TV show LOST in Barcelona?” I said, reverting back to English. “Why haven’t we been there before!?” With no further persuasion needed, we boarded the metro and went in search of this odd but interesting jaunt.
Before we begin, i feel it important to point out that the name of the bar is actually Bharma, not Dharma, presumably to avoid any copyright issues? Anyway, this didn’t seem to deter the likes of Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Evangeline Lilly (Katherine) and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) joining the party, back when the bar opened in 2005, 6 months or so after the TV show’s first season aired in America.
I remember watching the pilot episode of LOST and sitting in complete awe of how spectacular the whole thing looked: the crashed Oceanic airplane; the disorientated survivors and the absolute chaos that was happening around them. The mystery; the intrigue… I was hooked. Let’s not talk about its decline in later seasons.
Walking through the local neighborhood I had to question how a bar themed on a TV show that ended some 10 years ago was still popular. Granted, the pilot episode broke all records at the time with 18.6 million viewers in America, but how many Spanish viewers did it have, and how many of those Spanish viewers would be interested in a themed bar with overpriced themed beer? Still, i love the obscure, the strange, the weird – the story.
After a good 15 minutes walk we were there, though we originally walked right by. The front of the building, adorned by the Dharma logo and the infamous numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 was flanked by scaffolding, but no re-modelling work appeared to be being done on the facade, thankfully.
The first thing you’re greeted by upon entry is the large, 4ft or 5ft tail section of a crashed Oceanic airways jetliner, suspended from the ceiling and covered in foliage. It’s beautifully detailed.
To the right are replica doors from the shelter, and in the center of the room, a glass case with a signed picture or two of the co-stars mentioned above, looking rather enthused with their Dharma…Sorry Bharma beers. Above them is a large flat-screen TV, presumably for screening LOST episodes?
Beyond this is lies a large display cabinet on the wall, with a sign inside the glass that reads “Ultimas Unidades, €8“, or “Last Ones, €8”, describing the 10 or so mugs that are left, abandoned behind the thin glass. They look lonely in a large cabinet that once stocked t-shirts and hoodies, but they still proudly sport the Dharma logo. I couldn’t bring myself to rescue one, though.
The opposite wall, to the left of the bar and the kitchen, displays a large replica hatch surrounded with earth and rocks. It’s very tangible, and I can still hear John Locke banging on the glass shouting “WHY DID YOU DO THIS?! All it needs is a light to sporadically come on to complete the effect.
Now obviously we were here for a beer or two, so i was secretly disappointed to see only two Dharma beers in the large double-door fridge, one with a white label and one with a black label. We ordered one of each, assuming one was a dark beer and one a light beer, but were quickly corrected by the barman who pointed out that they’re the same beer. You can’t imagine my sadness. Anyway, this changed a little when, thankfully, the beer actually tasted good, very good — a Pilsner, I believe. I half expected to see a ‘brewed by Peroni’ message on the back.
We finished our beers, took some photos and began walking home. The only question I had left was how did the owners manage to the persuade the stars of the show to appear? I mean, what a coup! The owners were huge fans of the show but had no support from the makers of LOST, we’re told. Presumably then this was part of a promotional tour organised when season one began airing in Spain? Anyway, this obscure fan-themed bar is still going strong and seemed very popular with the happy-looking locals eating their lunches when we arrived.
By now the allure has probably worn-off for your average tourist or intrigued local, but for someone who has nothing better to do than seek out obscure places, this was a nice little adventure.
Bar Address: Carrer de Pere IV, 93, 08018 Barcelona