When fixing We have not been able to determine an exact date for the inauguration or creation of Café Central, however, we do have a document that testifies to its existence as early as 1920 and in which an artistic performance was announced in it. Therefore, it is a cafeteria that is over 100 years old and that we trust will reach another century. The current floor of the Café Central is the union of three centennial cafes, the Café Suizo , which was located on the corner of the Plaza de la Constitución with Calle Santa María and was very small, el Café Munich that occupied the place that our bodeguilla occupies today in the secluded Pasaje de Chinitas and that was contemporary to the mythical establishment to which García Lorca dedicated his poem "En Café Chinitas " and of which a multitude of sung versions have been made. The atmosphere in Café Munich was similar to that mentioned, with a multitude of gatherings about flamenco and bullfighting. Between the two was Café Central which was a narrow bar with a lounge at the end.
How the peculiar way of ordering coffee originated in Malaga
After the Spanish Civil War (1933-1936), Don José Prado Crespo returned to Málaga and after a period in the one who worked as a taxi driver, ia 1940 began to dedicate himself to hospitality, setting up various businesses. In addition to the premises mentioned above, he was also in charge of businesses such as Bar La Viña or La Viña Chica. It was around this time that D. José, after renting the different premises several times, was able to gradually acquire the three near the “Plaza de José Antonio Primo de Rivera” (current Plaza de la Constitución), and finally join them in 1954 the name of the one that was having more success at that time: the Central Cafe. In these years it is when D. José invents the peculiar way of ordering coffee in Malaga and that continues even today. Many of our elders still remember when the Café Central closed only one hour in the morning to clean and reopened its doors. It was a time of copla, live performances and gatherings ... Times in which the history of Café Central was linked to those of Malaga. Later came democracy, tourism and, very recently, the new Calle Larios, the Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen, cruises ... A whole transformation that meant a change in our menu, in the appearance of the entire Historic Center , in the tastes of those who visited us and that today is a challenge to adapt to new tastes without losing our centuries-old tradition.
And this is why ...
There are many people from Malaga and visitors who wonder why so many types of coffee in Malaga, and not so many those who know that this classification began in 1954.
It was a post-war era, in which obtaining certain raw materials was very complicated, as in the case of coffee, difficult to find And expensive. At that time D. José Prado Crespo, owner of the Café Central, worked non-stop behind the bar and saw how customer after customer had to either throw coffee, or make another one to adapt to their tastes. Quite a waste.
D. José Prado (founder)
After much thought, and as a practical man he was, he set to work to bring order to the tastes of his clients. His intention was none other than to make a poster identifying each of the tastes he saw behind the bar. In his attempt he went on to complete a total of 9 denominations, from himself to the cloud, but since they did not fit to make a poster with two rows, he continued looking for one more. He asked and asked clients and acquaintances until one of his employees, a funny gypsy where there were, said: 'Don José, less than a cloud? ... because for that don't wear it 'and, since Don José was easy and humorous, he decided to incorporate this grace into the useful mosaic of the cafes.
D. Rafael Prado (current owner)
Today he is his son, D. Rafael Prado Salas together with his grandson Ignacio Prado Fernández-Baca, who run this centennial Café. It is D. Rafael who has modernized and adapted the menu to the new type of client, more international and diverse but, at the same time, interested in enjoying Malaga and its traditions. From his father he has inherited a taste for art, music, social gatherings and that smiling and amusing character that was so representative of D. José.
The Café Central project: coffee roasted in Malaga
Currently, Café Central has a new project, that of its own coffee, coffees roasted by themselves under the baton of the third generation of coffee lovers, by Ignacio Prado. Cafés from Colombia, Ethiopia or Guatemala that will continue to take their clients not only to their downtown or Malagueta cafeterias, but to their doorstep.