La Terraza Mark II – Interview with Borja Tornay

La Terraza Mark II – Interview with Borja Tornay

Back in September 2020 Secret Serrania contributor Paul Whitelock wrote about the young entrepreneurs in the Serranía de Ronda. Three of these, brothers Rubén and Borja Tornay and good friend Cayetano Postigo, run La Terraza in Montejaque, an open-air chill-out bar /restaurant that opened in July 2020. Now closed for the winter, this dynamic threesome decided to embark on another new venture. They took over the long-closed Bar Serrano, also in Montejaque. They opened on Friday 30 October 2020. On that opening day Paul popped along to try it out and managed to get an interview with one of the team, 29-year-old Borja Tornay. Here is what he managed to find out.

Paul: Whose idea was it to set up the open-air bar/restaurant?

Borja: The three of us were having a beer together shortly after the lockdown ended and we were speculating whether we would get any work. Previously all three of us worked in hotel and catering on the Costa del Sol and with all the problems associated with Covid-19 it wasn’t looking promising. So we came up with the concept that became La Terraza.

Paul: How did you finance it?

Borja: We spoke to our parents and they were fully behind the idea. My dad, Cristóbal, owned the land where La Terraza is situated and he simply let us have it. As regards the set-up costs, the container which houses the bar and kitchen cost just 1,600 euros delivered and installed, the pallets were free and the railway sleepers were dirt cheap. The capital costs of kitchen equipment, bar fridges, furniture, etc. were picked up by our parents, Juan Rafael and María and Cristóbal and Rosa Mari.

Paul: Do they get involved?

Borja: To some extent. They like to help out when they can, but they leave the day-to-day running and decision-making to us.

Paul: Why did you decide to close La Terraza for the winter?

Borja: Because it’s open-air, and therefore too cold to be outside.

Paul: So that’s why you decided to take over Bar Serrano to give you work for the winter. You’ve changed the name, also to La Terraza. Why?

Borja: We wanted to develop the brand, and we wanted our customers to know that it was us and that we’d be offering the same quality and value-for-money as in the other place.

Paul: What was your vision for the new bar?

Borja: We wanted it to be traditional to attract an older clientele but with modern cuisine.

Paul: Will you be hosting live music?

Borja: We’re considering it seriously.

Paul: The COVID-19 regulations mean more spacing between tables is required. What is your allowed capacity?

Borja: Inside it’s 63.

Paul: All three of you are very young, 24, 29 and 35, I think. What experience do you have?

Borja: Cayetano and I have worked in hotel and catering since we left school, and my brother has been a chef for donkey’s years.

Paul: Finally, do you have any other projects in mind?

Borja: We just want to expand. When we re-open La Terraza I in the spring, we intend to keep La Terraza II open as well. The two places are different and won’t really compete with each other.

Paul: Thank you very much for sparing time on your busy opening day to do this interview. I wish you the very best of luck. I’m now going to try some of your tapas.

Footnote: The trio planned to open La Terraza II every day from 9.00 am for breakfasts through lunch and dinner until closure at 10.30 pm except on Mondays, which is their rest day. The Covid-19 restrictions over the winter interfered with that plan but they are currently open as planned.


Paul Whitelock

About Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda doing DIY, gardening and writing.