We'd read about this bar in a guide or article somewhere which said what a great bar it was with a lively atmosphere and a varied clientele, where families with children, young couples and businessmen in suits all rub shoulders in the afternoons and late evening. But when we first wandered past thinking we'd stop for quick drink it didn't look at all welcoming with it's rather shabby decor and dark interior so we gave it a miss wondering whether we'd found the wrong 'La Moderna'.Thankfully, on the Friday evening towards the end of our week in Jerez we decided to give it another go, when it was our first stop on what turned out to be a great night out! People were spilling onto the street in front of the bar, there were still families with young children sat at the few tables by the open front of the bar when we arrived after 9pm and lots of people seemed to be stopping by to greet people they knew who were sat there enjoying the warm evening.
We ordered a couple of beers and stood outside for a while before venturing in to find ourselves a spot at the bar to order some tapas - papas aliñás (a salad typical of the Cadiz region with potatoes, spring onions, tuna and eggs) and croquetas de bacalau (salt cod fritters). I had my camera with me to and for some reason that night everyone wanted their photos taking so I obliged - everyone was so high-spirited that I didn't want to refuse (nor was my 10 word Spanish vocabulary sufficient to explain that I wasn't a photographer by trade...). We eventually managed to get ourselves some bar stools and sat up at the bar conversing with the waiters in sign language and pigeon Spanish and English and wished we'd found this place earlier in the week.
La Moderna is a great bar with super friendly staff. If you can wrestle yourself the to bar, elbow your way in and catch the attention of one of the waiters to order a beer or a fino and then stand there and soak up the lively, happy atmosphere. Yes, the decor is past its best and no you probably won't get a seat, but even if you only stop by for one, make sure you order the papas aliñás (the best we tasted in Jerez) and have a chat with the waiters.