Venta Butibamba, La Cala de Mijas

Venta Butibamba, La Cala de Mijas

by Chris Chaplow

Venta Butibama at La Cala de Mijas is a good place to go for a typical roadside Venta oe Café/Restaurant.  It is very popular and has a long and distinguished history. Today, the coastal road runs alongside it and thousands of cars pass by every hour.   Some will remember when the Venta Butibamba was actually on the old coastal road and when it was an obligatory stop for those driving past.

When the original venta was built around 1850, it was a simple hut, there was nothing around it, no houses, not even a road. The Venta was officially designated as a 'Casa de Postas' (Post Office) where the mail for the area was delivered. There was an obligation to provide shelter and food for travellers, no matter what time they arrived.  The Venta is still open 24 hours a day. The current manager is Francisco Javier Sepúlveda, the husband of the founder's great-granddaughter.

The origin of the name comes from the old muleteers, who drank wine in containers or "botes" and used the expression "¡Qué 'bamba' he cogido!" (how drunk I am). The beach is named after the Venta not the other way round.

The house speciality is the  sandwich with ‘lomo en manteca’  (a pig fat lard) and the secret recipe dates back to the mid 19th century when it was an ideal method of conservation before refrigeration.

The Venta had served all the bandits over the years, including the famous El Tempranillo. The story goes that the famous bandit 'Flores Arrocha' was eating in the Butibamba when the Civil Guard arrived.He had to hide behind a donkey in the stables. The donkey bit him on the ear and the bandit endured the pain until the guards left, when he bit the donkey in revenge. Flores Arrocha; he had gone into the bush after killing his father-in-law and three other relatives.In 1932 he was shot and killed near Fuenfria on the old Marbella-Ronda road.

King Alfonso XIII himself stayed at the Venta in the 1920s. For many years, the bed on which the monarch slept was kept in the restaurant's attic."Before the King arrived, his staff would set up his special iron bed in the attic of the house.In those days there were no rooms; travellers slept where the animals were.After King Alfonso XIII left, it remained there for many months; nobody dared to dismantle the King's bed and nobody collected it.Unfortunately, when the Venta was demolished to be rebuilt, the King's bed disappeared.

Since the early days it has now been extended into many different rooms.  Its very popular with locals from La Cala, commercial travellers, sales people, workers, soldiers, policemen  , just about everybody. It is best avoided mid-morning 10.00 to 11.00 and lunch time from 14.00 to 15.30 hrs.

There is a small car park for client at the back.

 

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