Sunshine & coffee
Alison Grootveld grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and attended university in Portland, Oregon where she completed her bachelor’s degree with a focus in interior design.
With university over and no career path determined she – and partner Doug – decided to travel around Mexico for six months. With her personal belongings stored away and the small car loaded up, the road took them south and they found Barra de Navidad. That was 16 years ago. Although it was not love at first sight, she was drawn to the surfing and amazing weather. Soon she found herself spending half her time in Portland, where she worked waitressing and flipping houses, and the other half in Barra where she also worked waitressing. Then, with the encouragement and support from her husband and close friends, she decided to make the permanent move to Barra and open a coffee shop – La Bruja.
Alison loves the community that Barra and Melaque have created and enjoys seeing her regular customers and friends. And, of course, she welcomes all newcomers and tourists! In her spare time Alison enjoys surfing, painting (perhaps you have seen her work in the Café in previous seasons), gardening and stand up paddle boarding. She is fluent in “Spanglish” and hopes to continue to introduce more Spanish into her vocabulary.
Alison has created a welcoming coffee shop – currently in its sixth season – that delights the senses. The beachy blue colour and the sound of the espresso machine remind you to slow down and enjoy the day. The space has beautiful merchandise – hats, t-shirts, jewelry, greeting cards – ready for you to take home for yourself or as a gift. Stop by and discover your new favorite morning drink.
Alison recommends: To drink: La Bruja – an iced coconut latte. Savoury: Brioche Roll – includes ham, spinach, onion, garlic and mozzarella. Postre: Chocolate Tart or Pecan Pie.
La Bruja is located at Av. Veracruz 208 and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. You can find them at labrujacoffeebar.com and on Facebook @La Bruja Coffee Bar and Art Gallery.
What’s going on
Cultural Awareness Classes are held on Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the Costalegre Community Church in Villa Obregon. Attend the next one as the series is almost completed.
United for Barra meets Tuesdays 9:30 a.m. at the Sunset Bar. This meeting is in Spanish, but volunteers will help with translations at the end of the meeting.
The Rotary Club meets at Cabo Blanco in Barra on Wednesdays at 9 a.m.
The Annual Rotary Golf Tournament at Grand Bay takes place on Monday, February 4. Contact Don Egan at 315-355-8412 for tickets. This event is always a great time.
Acupuncture Melaque is having an open house on Tuesday, February 5, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Stop by for wine, tea, dumplings and to learn more about acupuncture. Didi Aaron’s office is located next to Jack’s Bar on Avenida Obregon in Melaque.
The Buena Onda Yoga & Wellness Festival takes place Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 17. In addition to many class options, there will be workshops, music and a unique outdoor market including vegetarian food. Contact Kalina for tickets
The grand opening of the new BMX track in Melaque is scheduled for Monday, February 16. Everyone is invited to join in the fun or cheer on the children.
Cruise-In Week in Barra is held from February 18-25. Contact Linda Bello Ruiz on Facebook or 707-331-3684.
Ladies Lunch hosted by the Rotary Club is on Thursday, February 21 at Viva Maria 1910 in Melaque. Tickets are 400 pesos and are limited in quantity.
The Cinco de Marzo dinner and dance will take place in Barra on March 5. More details to come.
The Cultural Experience trip to the Purepecha community is from March 7-10. The cost is about $US300 per person. Contact Linda Bella Ruiz.
Barra de Navidad
Backstage Bar/Blue Wave Cafe – Av. Veracruz by the Church: Thursdays and Fridays 8 p.m.; Saturdays 7 p.m.
Barra Galeria de Arte & Restaurant – Av. Mazatlan 75: Open Tuesdays and Thursdays
Besame Mucho – Calle Jalisco 13B: Sunday 7 p.m.
Bogavante Hotel – Av. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi: Wednesdays and Thursdays 7-10 p.m.
Cabo Blanco – Av. Armada: Thursdays 1 p.m.
El Maglitos Restaurant – Av. Veracruz 17.
Lucy’s Paradise – Av. Veracuz at Yucatan: Fridays and Saturdays 8:30 p.m.
Marlena’s Restaurant – Av. Veracruz 167: Mondays 7-10 p.m.
Punta Navidad – on the lagoon: Wednesdays 7:30 p.m.
Sr. Froy’s La Casa Mia Restaurant – Calle Filipinas 66: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m.
Simona’s Restaurant – Av. Veracruz 12: Tuesdays 7-10 p.m.; Saturdays 6-9 p.m.
Time Out Bar – Av. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi 224: Mondays 6-8 p.m., Tuesdays 9 p.m.-midnight; Fridays 9 p.m.-midnight; Saturdays 9: 30 p.m.-12:30 p.m.
La Oficina – Av. Revolution 41: Fridays Open Mic 8 p.m.; Saturdays with Lalo 8 p.m.
Styx Bar – Av. Obregon (their old location): Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m.
Albatros Restaurant – Av. Cabanas 36: Tuesdays to Sundays 7 p.m.
Bistro Escondido – Las Palmitas 2 De Maria, west end on Las Palmas: Wednesdays 7 p.m.
Esmeralda’s Restaurant – Av. Gomez Farlas 461: Wednesdays and Thursdays 5 p.m.
Garcias Restaurant – on the beach: Mondays 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Hotel Laguna del Tule: Thursdays 7-10 p.m.
La Salamandra – Calle Abel Salgado 382: Fridays 7 p.m.; Sundays 7:30 p.m.
Macondo Café - Jardin in Melaque: Tuesdays 7 p.m.; jazz Fridays and Saturdays.
Poeminimo – Jardin in Melaque: Fridays and Saturdays 9:30 p.m.
Tito’s Place Restaurant Bar – Calle Las Palmas 27: CHUY on Saturdays 4-7 p.m.
Viva Maria 1910 – Calle Las Palmas 7: Fridays 7-10 p.m.