The small roadside restaurant "El Chato" was built in 1780 on the breakwater that links Cádiz and San Fernando cities to ease travelers' fatigue.
Its history blurs mixing facts and rumors and raising an exciting mystery between these walls that, in former times, gave refuge to those Spanish citizens who held out against French troops in 1812 during our Independence War. A battery of cannons was built in the same place where the restaurant is to battle the enemy that was firing from "El Trocadero".
The restaurant is believed to have been set up with Count O'Reilly's authorization by Chano García, also known as "El Chato" (Spanish term for snub-nosed). As well, It has been rumored for long that in 1823, when the Kingdom Assembly held King Fernando VII in his very light imprisonment in which he could freely go to and fro enjoying himself, the King used to visit the restaurant accompanied by a character called Brother Manzanilla. "Brother" nickname was inspired by his hairstyle similar to a friar's, with a ring of hair around the shaved top, then again, "Manzanilla" because of his love of this wine. Brother Manzanilla selected from the women who used to dance in the restaurant those suitable to amuse the King, to whom Cadiz dancers delighted specially.
n February 13th, 1945, The "Comisión de Tipismo y Folklore Gaditano" (Cádiz Folklore and Local Style Commission) met at El Chato to pay tribute to its president, the writer José María Pemán. To remember this moment he was awarded with an amphora that contained the Cadiz style and folklore essences which now lays in a niche built into our historical and thick walls. For us, it is a symbol of his love for our traditions and a source of inspiration that we try to pass on to our guests.
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