Smart priest this

By day, the Robin Hood restaurant, which sits on a side street near the centre of Madrid, is a typical Spanish bar: coffee and croquetas, a fruit machine, cigarette machine, and a leg of ham dozing under a tea towel on the counter.

But at night, it transforms itself into a pioneering place where homeless people such as Gutiérrez, 40, from Extremadura, can dine, free of charge, at tables set with flowers, metal cutlery and proper glasses.

Millfield has been doing this for decades of course. But I do like this. It’s called “Robin Hood”:

The priest acknowledges that there may be something a little provocative in naming the restaurant after a figure who redistributed wealth at the tip of an arrow and the point of a sword. But the idea is less to rob the rich than to encourage them to share their good fortune.

“The name is just to spice it up a bit and to get people to notice. We could have called it ‘The Brothel’ and I’m sure that would have got people’s attention, too.”

Quite so. And I have absolutely no doubt at all that the publicity will lead to more daytime patrons, some of whom will leave a little extra to aid in paying for the evenings. ‘Coz, you know, most people are, most of the time, pretty good.

It’s going to run into the usual problems of anything free at the point of use but absolutely nothing in this life is going to be perfect.

8 thoughts on “Smart priest this”

  1. “We could have called it ‘The Brothel’ and I’m sure that would have got people’s attention, too.”

    Hardly. Madrid’s got at least a couple dozen major ones, to my knowledge Advertised on bill-boards & recognisable by the blaring neon.. (Not implying there’s anything “free at the point of use”, in any of them, of course.)
    Not a particularly good comparitor, methinks…

  2. > It’s going to run into the usual problems of anything free at the point of use

    Rationing of service. How ironic to have rationing at a restaurant.

  3. It’s misleading to say Robin Hood ‘robbed the rich’. He robbed the state, because the state had been extorting money from the poor, and he also robbed anyone who had colluded with, and benefitted from, this extortion. He didn’t rob any other rich people.

  4. Murphy can’t be a fan then, Cal.

    As someone pointed out with the autistic kid cup story, I can imagine the Spud’s response to this tale would be to scowl at the tax being avoided by not charging for the food.

  5. They were the ones who’d been in league with Prince John, Guy of Gisborne and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Unless you read some version that told the original stories from a modern, more ‘egalitarian’ perspective.

  6. The ballads of Robin Hood start turning up a couple hundred years after King John. And if you read them in the original, the king in question’s Edward.
    So sorry. Likely mythical. Although possibly derived from tales of a bloke did exist. Hereward the Wake.

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