The roots of the current Business Lunch go back as far as the 1970’s and certainly earlier, (although surviving eye witnesses and participants are thin on the ground), when the ‘British Club of Barcelona’, linked to the British Consulate, owned a property overlooking the port and where much gin was consumed, allegedly.
Following a lean period in the late 70’s and early 80’s when the decision to sell the establishment was made, the British Consulate assumed control and maintained the event as a lunch under the guise of ´The British Businessman’s Lunch´ to varying degrees of success for may years.
Cutbacks again took their toll in the early to mid 90’s, with the burden of organizing the event ‘officially’ becoming more and more of a challenge. The most popular venue for the lunches in the 90´s was the enticingly named Jockey Club/ Restaurant Jockey, a small bar/ restaurant on Calle Paris and so named probably because of it´s close proximity to the Circulo Ecuestre, (Ecuestrian Circle), a beautiful private members club on Calle Balmes and Avenida Diagonal. (The Circulo Ecuestre was to become the venue for many Consulate and British Chamber of Commerce meetings and lunches and is well worth a visit if possible).
In the late 90’s Bevan Brumwell, founder of Brumwell Brokers and long term Barcelona resident and avid golfer, agreed to relieve the Consulate of its duty and successfully ran the lunches for another five years.
By the turn of 2000, Bevan finally managed to persuade one of the members, Jonathan Goodman, to in turn take over from him (after asking politely many times!).
Jonathan changed the name to ‘The Business Lunch’ , encouraging other nationalities and the ‘fairer sex’ to participate, to great effect. (Members today are represented by many nationalities, including locals and often at least 50% women). The common language used at lunches and events is English but the international fragrance of the attendees and ambience is most definitely cross-border, open minded and international.
Over recent years notable assistances of a year or two each, (and to give Jonathan a break), have come from Andrew Galway and Michael Thomas, both late of The Spectrum IFA Group.
Currently the Business Lunch meets monthly (well almost, given events from 2020), in central Barcelona with Chris Burke at the helm, closely watched by Jonathan Goodman. Andrew Crockley has also stepped up to assist Chris.
We hope to see you at one of our lunches soon!