© Dana Nowak

Antonio Banderas has opened his favorite restaurant in Marbella

The Spanish actor opens a new branch at the Puente Romano Beach Resort in Marbella.

Antonio Banderas has brought the essence of Málaga to Marbella with the restaurant Bodega El Pimpi, opening a new chapter in the history of the luxurious Puente Romano Beach Resort. The Hollywood star appeared at the exclusive opening accompanied by his girlfriend Nicole Kimpel. In order to celebrate this unprecedented culinary and cultural event, high society in Marbella had dressed up as well.

The famous Bodega El Pimpi from Málaga has opened its doors in Marbella, a move that marks the brand's first expansion and an exciting development in the region's gastronomic tradition. This new establishment, which adds Andalusian flair to the prestigious Puente Romano Beach Resort, not only promises to be a haven for lovers of good food and wine, but could also become a new cultural hotspot due to the influence of its famous co-owner Antonio Banderas, celebrating Andalusian culture and offering an authentic Andalusian experience.

© Dana Nowak

At the opening, which was also attended by hotel owner Daniel Shamoon, the co-owner of El Pimpi, Elena Cobos, and the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, Antonio Banderas, for whom the bodega is something like his second home, chatted in a relaxed manner about his first amorous adventures. "I was 9 years old when I visited 'Pimpi' for the first time with my parents. And of course I took my first girlfriend out to dinner at 'Pimpi'."

This wonderfully Andalusian restaurant is not only a popular meeting place for Málaga's locals. The Pimpi is no longer an insider tip, but is on the agenda of many tourists, just like a visit to the Picasso Museum. In 1971, Francisco Campos and José Cobos opened the bodega in the heart of Málaga and within a short space of time it became very well known both inside and outside the city. The cinema also discovered the traditional tavern decades ago as an ideal backdrop for film and television. Scenes for the series "Joven Picasso", directed by Juan Antonio Bardem, were filmed in the restaurant in 1993. And in 2006, Antonio Banderas' debut film "El camino de los ingleses" was also shot here.

The tavern, which is particularly famous for its sweet Málaga wine, has become a legend and an institution for many personalities over the last 53 years. Once frequented by the Picasso family, it is now home to Carmen Thyssen, Count Rudolf von Schönburg, Rafael Nadal and, of course, Antonio Banderas, who conveniently lives in a penthouse right next to El Pimpi in the historic center of the city.

© Dana Nowak

The actor, who settled in his home city of Málaga a few years ago and has become the city's prominent ambassador to the world, not only founded the Soho Theater, but is also part owner of a number of restaurants in the city. He is now stepping up his involvement in the restaurant business and is also conquering Marbella with a second Pimpi. In his private life, he has long since settled in Marbella with his residence La Gaviota, where he enjoys his summers. Banderas, who was dating Melanie Griffith at the time, was living in Marbella when their daughter Stella was born in 1996 at the Costa del Sol Hospital, just a few meters away from La Gaviota. Stella spent the first weeks of her life and most of the summers of her childhood here. In 2021, she moved to Spain and lived in Málaga for a while to work under her father as an assistant director for the musical "Company".

Banderas is a self-confessed lover of the bodega with its special atmosphere and the many wine barrels bearing the signatures of personalities such as Salvador Dalí and Lola Flores. And so, in keeping with tradition, the actor did not miss the opportunity to an inscription on one of the wine barrels which also adorn the new Pimpi. "My daughter Stella was born in Marbella and 'Pimpi' 2.0 was also born here," explained the actor, who dedicated the new El Pimpi to his daughter.

Although the new El Pimpi has remained true to its essence, the bodega in Marbella is much more elegant than the original. Of course, Marbella also offers Andalusian classics such as boquerones (fried anchovies), calamari and grilled octopus. Overall, however, the menu has been adapted to the tastes of a more sophisticated clientele, which is also reflected in the prices. The classic salmonrejo (a cold vegetable soup) is served with quail's egg and Iberian ham, the tortilla (potato omelette) with caviar from Riofrío in Granada and the clams are prepared in sherry instead of the usual garlic and white wine sauce. The grilled beef tenderloin with grilled paprika pil-pil or the sea bass with creamy ajoblanco (garlic cream) and crispy pistachios are highly recommended.

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Dana Nowak
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