The visionary world of Teatro Kitchen & Bar, where fine dining merges with a circus soul


Teatro Kitchen & Bar owes its name to Avenida Paralelo, the old hub of Barcelona's entertainment and show business. A place that, through entertainment and fun, transforms the formalism of a typical fine dining restaurant into a true theatrical spectacle.

In the fourth episode of Visions, we accompany Joan Romans, director of Teatro Kitchen & Bar, to the stage of one of the most casual and fun fine dining restaurants in Barcelona.

If you appreciate a night full of colour, good food, music and dance, don't miss our interview with Joan Romans, director of Teatro Kitchen & Bar:

Tell us your story: How did you become the director of Teatro?


The truth is that I entered the world of hospitality because I was a bad student. 

When I finished secondary school, my parents asked me what I wanted to do with my life because all I did was fail exams. So, as I liked cooking and my aunt had a restaurant, they sent me to work there during the summer. 

That’s when I fell in love with cooking and decided to sign up for the Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Barcelona, where I studied a degree in Kitchen and Restaurant Management. At school, I realised that I liked the dining room more than the kitchen. I think it's because I'm quite shameless and I like talking to people more than being locked up cooking. 

I did my internship in Sicily, Italy and then returned to Barcelona to work in a restaurant. At the age of 22, I returned to my hometown, Alcoy, in Alicante, as a restaurant manager. 

In 2017 I came back to Barcelona, as I was called to join the team of the restaurant Tickets, where I joined as a waiter. Eventually, I was promoted to second waiter, then to head waiter in less than a year, and ended up being the director of the restaurant.

Because of Covid-19, in 2021 Tickets restaurant had to close, only to reopen in 2022 under different management and with a new name: Teatro Kitchen & Bar. The new ownership called me to be the director and I've been here ever since.

What is the vision behind Teatro? 

The name of Teatro was decided as a tribute to Avenida Paralel in Barcelona. In the 1920’s, this street was known as the main show business strip in Catalonia, with theatres, circuses and cabarets. On the same level as Broadway in New York or Montmartre in Paris.

Teatro Kitchen & Bar is inspired by the atmosphere and fun of this street and that is the basis of the restaurant's concept: our aim is that people who come here have fun and enjoy themselves. 

That's why we have created a gastronomic offer that is different from the classic fine dining concept. What we try to provide is a gastronomic proposal of fine dining but with a touch of fun and relaxation.

The keywords here are happiness and fun.

What is the concept of the restaurant? 


The restaurant’s idea is to sell happiness. What we want is for the customer who visits us to feel happy. And, to achieve that, we offer them a totally casual atmosphere with a conceptual idea where you can enjoy and have fun, in a casual fine dining restaurant, without the uptight presentation.

And, to make it happen, we have built a space where the kitchens are completely open, so that people can interact with them as if they were part of a real show. Every detail, from the music we play to the style of the tables, is designed so that our customers find themselves in a relaxed atmosphere, and that our home feels like it’s theirs, even if it’s only for one night.

And what is the differentiating element of the Teatro Kitchen & Bar?


What makesour restaurant different is our gastronomic offer. We propose a casual concept, but of fine dining.

At Teatro, we don't want to limit ourselves to a tasting menu, because we understand that each person may have different tastes and economic conditions and what we don't want is to restrict them to a fixed menu and that everyone has to eat the same plates when they actually like different things.

In short, what we want is for the customer to be happy in our house and to feel at ease. That is why we offer two options: the à la carte option or the surprise selection. With the former, it is the guest who chooses exactly what they want, while with the latter we prepare a selection of tapas based on their preferences. 

Our gastronomic offer is based on a selection of "two fingers and one bite" tapas, designed so that each diner can eat directly with their hands. This is a bit unusual for a haute cuisine restaurant.

We want the customer to dig in and to eat most of the selection with their fingers or with tongs. With this, we try to make the customer eat in a different manner to other restaurants and we understand that it is a more fun way of eating. 

The dishes on the menu are developed by chef Oliver Peña. He used to work at Enigma and 41 Grados, so he knows the house better than anyone. Now he is accompanied by David Sanz, who is the sous chef and comes from the Cocina Hermanos Torres restaurant. Between the two of them, they select the menu and create the dishes. 

In their creations, they always try to use seasonal products and vary the dishes quite a lot, because as they are small portions that can be eaten with two fingers and in one bite, when people decide to repeat, they want to be surprised with new proposals.

We also try to involve the customers, and that is why some dishes, like desserts, are more interactive, so that the customer feels involved and has this excitement factor that other restaurants lack. For example, for our Kakigori dessert, the customer has to get up from the table and, with the help of the pastry girl, participates in making the dessert.

Most people who come for the first time decide to come back, because they have a good time and enjoy themselves.

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Teatro Kitchen & Bar's design and circus soul


The premises are divided into two areas: the restaurant part, or “theatre” and the cocktail bar part, called “backstage, that is hidden behind the theatre and where we offer a menu of cocktails and aperitifs.

What surprises you when you enter the restaurant is that, thanks to its large windows and an open kitchen, you can enjoy the sunlight coming from outside at all times. The premises used to be a car dealership, which is why there are so many display windows.

The design of the restaurant offers an atmosphere of fun and entertainment. As soon as you enter the place, the first thing that catches your eye are the striking tables and the coloured lights that simulate the port of Barcelona. Meanwhile, in another part of the restaurant, the selection of lights is reminiscent of a circus.

Through the decoration, lighting and colours, we try to offer an alternative to all the formalism that you can find in a typical high gastronomic restaurant.

¿And how is the kitchen organised at Teatro?


Unlike other restaurants, here at Teatro, all the kitchens are open. This creates a good atmosphere, both for the staff and the customers.

Internally, it creates a synergy between the dining room and the kitchen, and a connection between waiters and cooks that is not usually found in restaurants with closed central kitchens. By sharing the same space, everyone interacts and creates a jovial atmosphere. In Teatro we have a rule: when someone comes in the door they have to greet everyone.

Externally, when customers come to the restaurant they become spectators and can enjoy a live performance, seeing how the chefs and waiters work in harmony.

Each part of our kitchens has a name related to the world of entertainment: the Orchestra is the main kitchen from where our chef, Oliver Peña, directs the restaurant and where hot and cold dishes are prepared. Then we have another cold section called Platea. The Cochera is where the wood-fired oven is located, and the Palco is where the desserts are prepared.

Speaking of good vibes, what's the atmosphere like in the restaurant?


In the restaurant, every detail is designed to create a fun, party-like atmosphere. The lights, colours and music are meticulously chosen.

At Teatro we offer a selection of danceable and catchy music, mainly based on Catalan rumba and flamenquito, so that both employees and customers can enjoy and interact in a lively atmosphere.

It’s not uncommon for customers, while enjoying their dinner, to see the chef preparing a dish and swaying to the rhythm of the music. Other times, it’s the waiter humming a song as he goes around the tables handing out dishes.

And quite often, even the customers, especially the livelier ones, will start singing and dancing after a glass of wine or two!

What is it like to be part of the Teatro’s team?


Hospitality workers are tired of working longer hours than in other sectors and not being adequately remunerated. At Teatro Kitchen & Bar, we try to create a working environment where people enjoy themselves and feel at ease. How do we achieve that?

The restaurant only offers one service a night and is closed two days a week. This means that each person works only the hours they are scheduled to work and has two consecutive days off per week. In this way, people are able to lead a more routine life and they can make plans in advance. That makes a big difference and our employees appreciate it.

We want to create a cohesive unit, because we understand that a strong team is the basis for success. Without a united team, with which we can work and grow together over time, it’s impossible to achieve the objectives we set ourselves. 

In the hospitality industry it’s very common that professionals do not stay in the same job for long and that, due to conditions or schedules, there are many changes of personnel. This is what we want to avoid in our restaurant.

It’s very clear to us that in order to form a solid team, the worker has to feel valued and the working hours and salary have to be good.

That's why, for example, in Teatro, tips are distributed equally to the whole team. Whether it's the cleaning staff, the production staff, the service staff or the food staff. Everyone gets the same tips, because we understand that if one piece of the gear fails, everything else fails. On the other hand, if everything goes well, it is thanks to the whole team.

What do you value when it comes to building a good team?


At Teatro, when it comes to recruiting staff, one value that can never be missing is a good attitude.

We don't look too much at the CV. We look for a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and, above all, a desire to grow within the company

At Teatro, internal training is very important. If we hire people with little experience in the catering industry, we work with them and train them so that they can learn and grow on the job..

That's why we collaborate with the Raíces foundation, to support and offer opportunities to people who need it the most. Also, for us, the people who do internships in the restaurant are an asset for the future: we try to ensure that they go through all the roles in each department, whether in the kitchen or in the dining room. For example, in the dining room, we divide the time of their internships so that they can work in the cocktail bar, sommelier, reception and with me, learning how to manage a restaurant.

To strengthen a good team, the key to success is happiness, that our workers are happy.



?The fourth episode brings the first season of Hosco's Visions to a close. But don't worry, we'll be back soon!

The second season of Visions, will take us to meet the most visionary minds and the most exciting creative concepts in the hospitality sector in ITALY. → Follow us on our Instagram channel and stay tuned for the premiere of new episodes of Visions!



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