May 20, 2024
La vie en rose
- By
Blaire Dessent
La vie en rose
May 20, 2024
by
Blaire Dessent
La vie en rose
May 20, 2024
by
Blaire Dessent
View Mallorca talks to Nacho Velasco, Founder of La Rosa Troupe, Palma’s Beloved Restaurant Group
La vie en rose
May 20, 2024
- By
Blaire Dessent
La vie en rose
May 20, 2024
- By
Blaire Dessent
La vie en rose
May 20, 2024
- By
Blaire Dessent
“W

ith this new phase, I really want to enjoy the journey, have fun and grow naturally with the team”, says Nacho Velasco, founder of La Rosa Troupe, one of Mallorca’s most iconic restaurant groups that includes La Rosa Vermutería and the legendary Garito.

Velasco, originally from Valladolid, studied in Madrid and worked as a DJ, before coming to Mallorca in 1987, where his brother had recently opened a restaurant. After one summer, he fell in love with the island as well as a girl, and the rest, as they say, is history. Working as DJ and record importer for several years, he opened his first restaurant, Brondo, with is brother, in Palma, in 1992. “Brondo was 90% local clients when it opened, because the tourists were only going to the tourist locations back then”, he explains. Serving classic Spanish cuisine but with a twist, the restaurant was a hit before closing in 2003. It was during this time that he also opened Garito, the now legendary bar and restaurant set back from the marina, which also became his passion. Velasco has a natural intuition for creating an atmosphere that feels classic and contemporary at the same time. After Brondo closed, he went on to establish La Rosa, named after the street on which it sits. La Rosa feels completely Spanish yet not specifically so; Not traditional nor experimental, not vintage or trendy. It falls within and between all of this, which is why it is a quintessentially timeless and classic space. 

For Velasco, it was important to “create something familiar and not obvious or pretentious. I want to have local people connect to the atmosphere, so I did a ton of research and travelled from Seville to Madrid to Valladolid to San Sebastian to Bilbao… to collect ideas from everywhere and then I put it all together in a cocktail shaker to create something new, but which people identity with. It is very contemporary – this is the idea”. This relates to the food, which might include a weekly special inspired by one of his mom’s dishes, “archaeological” cuisine, as referred to it, as much as the essentials such as patatas bravas, and it also connects to the brand’s distinctive visual identity, which has a strong appeal. “I love visiting small family-run restaurants, those original spots – and think about how to bring it back. Good portions and good price”, he explains. But just don’t call it a tapas restaurant. “We try to avoid the word tapas – because it has become a tourist thing and I don’t like this… tapas is a part of our culture and life, but at La Rosa we don’t use that [generic] concept of tapas.”  

Photo by Grimalt de Blanch
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