ORIHUELA COSTA CHIRINGUITOS the lauded and much loved Spanish beach bars that provide essential services to locals, tourists, and holidaymakers throughout the summer months of high season could be reopened for business from as early as next Friday – one week today.
An announcement from Orihuela City council just yesterday means that the chiringuitos could be open from Friday 10th August, following the signing of the official contract this morning, allowing the company operating the bars a full week to organise staff and prepare for the grand reopening.
In addition to providing a full bar service and light refreshments to beachgoers, the chiringuitos are charged with offering public toilet facilities, sunbed and parasol hire, and are required to keep the beaches at all times to ensure a minimal negative impact on the delicate seafront environment they're located within.
Typically, the beach bars offer welcome shade from the sun. Constructed in an environmentally friendly design, the small kiosks provide a terrace and a kitchen serving snacks, tapas, a light lunch menu, and soft drinks or cocktails within a spectacular Mediterranean beachfront environment.
The bars are strategically located along the coastline to service the requirements of thousands of local residents and tourists enjoying the coastal paths, promenades, and walkways that adjoin the different towns and urbanisations, in areas otherwise devoid of local amenities.
Chiringuitos del Sol, the highest quality of service
Usually operating primarily between the springtime and November, the Orihuela Costa chiringuitos opened for business as usual in March earlier this year but closed their doors less than three weeks later due to administrative and licencing complications.
The closures affected all 11 beach bars in the popular Spanish beach resorts of Aguamarina, Mil Palmeras, La Caleta, Punta Prima, La Glea, La Mosca, Playa Flamenca, Cala Capitán and Barranco Rubio, including La Zenia's two chiringuitos on Cala Cerrada and Cala Bosque beach.
Initially, the process of reopening the Orihuela Costa chiringuitos was expected to take a minimum of two and a half months to complete, leaving local beaches bereft of services from mid-April until at least the beginning of July.
Authorities have been keen to reestablish the beach bars as soon as possible to avoid any impact upon the coveted Blue Flag status the award-winning beaches currently enjoy, with on-site services, access and safety, water quality, and public information and education, all major components of the global awards process.
On Tuesday 24th July the popular online news platform Diario de la Vega reported that the Orihuela Costa beach bars would be reopened “in August”.
The following day the same news outlet reported that the contracting committee had awarded the contract to operate the beach bars to Chiringuitos del Sol, the same company responsible for managing the Orihuela Costa chiringuitos prior to the closures earlier in the year.
Orihuela Costa chiringuitos, beach bars reopened for the summer
Diario de la Vega stated that the committee had calculated that Chiringuitos del Sol offered both the best tender and the highest quality of service, and the company had bid €891,178 per annum to operate the 11 beach bars, the highest amount ever paid for a company to operate the service.
Local media outlets suggested that the contract term had been agreed at 4 years, meaning that the beach services could potentially be secure until at least the end of the 2021 high tourist season and that the Orihuela Costa chiringuitos could resume services as soon as 10th August.
But the official announcement from Orihuela City Council came just yesterday, when the Councilor of Beaches, Luisa Boné, clarified that the contract would be signed with Chiringuitos del Sol this morning and will remain valid for four years, ending on 31st December 2021.
Chiringuitos del Sol had operated the beach bars under licence since 2014, and the management team were revered locally for their welcoming hospitality and an entertaining programme of events and live music throughout the summer months.
It is hoped that whatever complications occurred over the past few months, both residents and summer holiday tourists will be overjoyed at the reopening of the beach bars, and that the chiringuitos may continue to provide their valued service for years to come.
Looking for holiday ideas and travel inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what's going on in the local area.
Photo credit: LaZenia.com