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The NewSLU

Popular Student Hangout Near Campus Closes

Students say they will miss the “heavy pours” and tapas at Sales bar and restaurant
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The popular SLU-Madrid hangout Sales, a bar and restaurant near campus on Paseo de San Francisco de Sales, closed in February, forcing students to search for a new watering hole. 

Some students would go there to socialize and sip a large glass of tinto de verano or cerveza for 3 euros. Others would nibble at plates of huevos rotos, patatas bravas or croquetas de jamón, which cost 10 euros.

Shane Kirkland, a permanent student at SLU-Madrid, had been a regular costumer. He said the closing of the bar heavily affected him as he had been hanging out there since his first day at SLU-Madrid.

“Sales was a beautiful place, and it left its mark on both our souls and our livers,” Kirkland joked.

Chloe Nascimbeni, a sophomore at SLU, appreciated the affordable drink prices. “The best thing about Sales was the heavy pours,” Nascimbeni said. Devon France, also a sophomore, appreciated the casual atmosphere and comfort of the “dive bar.”

For nostalgic costumers, here’s what the homey Sales atmosphere was like, as observed weeks before it closed: 

Outside, a few tables are covered by the awning, inviting customers to sit under its shade. The wind is blowing, but all patrons have their jackets off to sunbathe. 

The tables are cluttered with green bottles of beer and half-empty glasses. Spanish students are quickly distinguished by their sense of style: The girls radiate sophistication as they wear stylish coats with chic scarves over their shoulders and carry their Zadig-and-Voltaire bags. The guys are dressed in form-fitting polos and tight jeans.

Next to the Spanish table, a group of Saint Louis University students converse in multiple languages. In one corner, two people discuss  something in Portuguese, while in another, you can hear Italian. The center of the table is talking in English. The group grows as more SLU students walk by and join the after-school bar trip.

The fashion is different here: Some girls wear skirts with long leather coats while others wear leggings with hoodies. Guys sport loose-fit jeans with graphic t-shirts.

When the waiter comes to the table, the girls prefer the crisp taste of a clara or tinto de verano, while the boys order beer. The smell of cigarette smoke competes with the scent of food coming from the  kitchen.

Snippets of conversation provide insights into the customers’ lives. One girl mentions her recent trip to Barcelona, another chimes in to say she has also recently been there. At another table, there’s a heated discussion about a football game. 

But Spanish bars attract all generations, and so, amid the youthful energy, an elderly couple finds a quiet spot. They sit happily, sipping glasses of white wine and smoking cigarettes, surrounded by clinking glasses. 

An after-class break at the outdoor tables at Sales. (Emma Berglund Puri)
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