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Go BackSAN AN IN REHAB – Latin spirit re-infuses the previously Northern European tourist enclave (inc. Eden & Es Paradis summer schedules)

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In brawling terms, slagging the town of Saint Antony of Portmany is a sucker punch. The verbal scrap over its relative merits however has subsided in recent years as self-improvement measures have begun to take effect.

Expensive real estate investment properties are beginning to outnumber the ugly pile ‘em high apartment blocks. Gone is the beachside open-air drug supermarket. Violent incidents that once cropped up in the West End like recurring migraines have been greatly reduced in frequency, although local doormen have been toughened from years of experience at subduing the unruly, so it’s advisable not to take the piss.

Missing but not missed also is the almost total reliance on 18-30 tour parties to fill up the boozing barns. The district as a whole is still enjoyable and accessible to unsophisticated youth from around the world, but there’s less on offer for those whose idea of a good night out is 10 pints of lager and a ruck. Credit should go to the authorities for cooling down the situation while at the same time maintaining the island’s rep for tolerance and freedom. Obviously some guys got their heads kicked in by the cops, but it could be argued this needs to happen every now and then.

We talked to the man almost at the top of the local hierachy, the “second” mayor Juan Pantaleoni, an approachable and articulate figure. Señor Pantaleoni feels San An does good business at night but “we need a big day as well”. To that end more pedestrian-friendly policies are to be enacted, including lessening the intoxication levels of those who populate the walkways themselves. This sustainable model of commerce should see less blood, semen and vomit spilled and recorded for televisual posterity.
Talking to other key players in the club scene from Es Paradis and Eden it becomes obvious that they are willing to use all the political influence at their disposal. Take Isaac Hildago from the latter of these two clubs for example. The personable promoter has more than a dozen years of experience in the club industry, and offers a positive perspective on San An’s prospects:
“I remember when I started to work 17 years ago for Pacha, the coolest people was in San An. We close every day at three because there was nobody in. Yeah. The West End was the most quality crowd place to go. And now unfortunately things have changed, and we are trying to change them back.” So he told us during our intense interrogation of he and his “main man” David a couple of weeks ago. They continue:

What’s Eden doing this summer?
David: On Sundays we have Judge Jules, then Tuesdays Garlands, Thursdays Retro & Wednesdays we have Lisa Lashes, for the other nights we are still talking about. I think this year line ups are much better than last year.

Is Judge Jules really buying in to the club?

How many people work here?
About 300 people.

How long have you been doing it?
This is my first year. Now four years in Ibiza.

Isaac: The fact is that before Ibiza Town wasn’t famous for the clubs. I remember when I started to work 17 years ago for Pacha, the coolest people was in San An. We close every day at three because there was nobody in. Yeah. The West End was the most quality place crowd to go. And now unfortunately things have changed, and we are trying to change them back.

Why did it change?
Probably because they worked better than us in Ibiza Town. We were not using the marketing like they was. But in the end the best bay is here. The best beaches are here, the best restaurants are here. The level of Eden now is exactly the same level as Amnesia or Privilege or other one. Probably Pacha is the number one in the world, we understand that, but we have the same djs that they have, everything. In the end we hope that we will be exactly the same.

Why is San An so popular with the English?
To be honest I have no idea. Probaby because the tour companies have been hiring the hotels here. But if you got to Playa d’en Bossa, or Figuretas or Ibiza Town, they have exactly the same quantity of English people.

Have you noticed less English?
Yes. We are working probably 35% of our people here is German, Italians or Spanish.

What’s your attitude towards the West End?
The first mistake is that we should be more restrictable with the West End, how the West End works. This year will see big change in the West End, will have back again nice bar, and stop with all the pub crawls and two for ones and all these kind of craps. The only way is working with the mayor like we do now. We own some of these places in the West End and none of them are working in this way. Some other owners in the West End think exactly the same. So now we´re going to change this bad look we have in the West End and I tell you it is on the good way ;-).

Simply we won’t permit any bad crowd. The tour companies will not bring the tours to the bars for nothing and see everybody drunk like in the last few years. This will not happen. And if somebody is trying to do that we will speak with the mayor to make sure it stops. The major is Jose Sala, a new mayor, and he is very keen to change all this image.

You can see some great bars in the West End like Simples, like Play2 can be, Plastic as well, and we will try to build more and push more of these bars in the West End and we hope people will notice that San Antonio is changed a lot next time they get here. Obviously with the new marina ready in five years, this will help a lot. The second mayor is a famous businessman here in San An, Juan Pantaleoni.

The people that make the soul of Sant Antoni, will all work the same way. And the politics in charge of Sant Antoni, will do that as well. If some of the players do not want to change, you can be sure they will not stay here. Simple as that. We will not permit the best bay in the Mediterranean to look like it has been looking the last few years.

Anything else good coming up?
We have new plans for Eden in the next years we will build a new restaurant on the roof. We will have our new Eden beach bar as well as our own Eden West End bar too.

After we were done with the Eden crew we popped across the road to Es Paradis, where we were welcomed warmly by the elfin Emanuela Tavano who provided us with all the information we required.

How long have you been here, Emanuela?
My third season in Ibiza, my first season in Es Paradis.

Where do you get your sexy dancers from? How do they choose them?
We make an initial selection and then we audition the dancers on the opening party.

Can I come along to the next audition?
Most of our dancers are female. It depends how you look in a g-string…

Who designed Es Paradis?
The owner Pepe Aguirre.

Tell us a little bit about the club.
Es Paradis first opened its doors in 1975 and by the efforts of Pepe Aguirre it quickly became one of the forerunners of the Ibiza nightlife gaining recognition as one of the most beautiful clubs in the world. The club was designed in an original and spectacular décor, mainly white with vast natural plantation. The exceptional landscape is covered by an enormous pyramid roof, which can be opened during the day to provide vital sunlight for the living plants and trees inside.

So the owner is here a lot?
Pepe is here pretty much every day and he is involved in every aspect of the club.

Why San Antonio?
Es Paradis was firstly built in 1975, obviously Pepe´s favourite location at the time.

What do you think of the West End, Ibiza Uncovered and all the rest?
The West End is one small site on the island and one type of entertainment. The list of entertainment on the island to suit every character is endless, in addition there are plenty of magical sites to explore.

Where does your crowd come from?
Everywhere on the island.

Have you noticed less English tourists in the last couple of years?
I noticed a few more Italians in San Antonio last year and this year in Italy there is a big television promotion on Ibiza in conjunction with Fanta.

Do you go to other clubs?
Pretty much all clubs, bars and sites on the island. I like to visit different places and meet different people.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I wish everybody an enjoyable and successful summer!!! Hope to see you all in Es Paradis this season and for the opening on the 21st May 2004.

Es Paradis 2004

Monday - Essential Grooves

Tuesday - DJ Sammy
From June 22 - September 14

Wednesday - Fiesta Del Agua – Water Party – Resident DJ Jacko Roveda
From May 26, every Wednesday

Thursday - Twice As Nice
From June 17 - September 16, every Thursday

Friday - The Boogie Pimps presents “Housesession” with the Tune Brothers
From June 25 - September 10, every Friday

Saturday - Fiesta Del Agua – Water Party – Resident DJ Jacko Roveda
From May 22, every Saturday

Sunday - De´Ja´ Vu – Helter Skelter – Innovation - Clockwork Orange
May 23, May 30, June 6, June 13 hosted by Clockwork Orange
June 20 - September 5, hosted by Helter Skelter Meets Innovation
Look out for the Helter Skelter and Innovation Ibiza reunion on November 26 & 27 at Butlins, Skegness, United Kingdom

And finally we tracked down the deputy mayor, Juan Pantaleoni.

When did you get elected?
Last summer. I began there on the 15th of June.

What party are you from?
The PP, Partido Popular. The one that just lost the elections.

What were you doing before you got into politics?
I work in bars and discos and things like that. I work at night.

What does your job now involve?
As mayor, I’m doing police, I’m doing commercio like shopping, to promote commerce. I do traffic, I do residencias, when you want to open a bar you have to ask for permit. I am the one who control this.

What are the main issues concerning San Antonio?
San Antonio must have more things, not only night. So it’s very important to make it a more commercial place. We have big nights but we need a big day as well. We are going to spend money changing all part of San Antonio, take out the cars. It won’t be things for cars it will be things for walking.

What do you think of club tourists?
Yeah, of course they are very good thing we need very much clubbing because if one day things change for something because they find a place they like more or something or I don’t know why, so we need to have different things. Because if we have problems with clubbers we need to find other things. The season must be longer, now it’s only three months. We need six or seven months.

Do you go to the clubs much?
I don't go because now I am 40. I go to the closing of Space. Two years ago I was there and go to some places just to check it out. I have my clubs but I control my clubs from my office, not during the night.

What clubs do you own?
Have you been in San Antonio? Do you remember Nightlife? Now the name is the Star. Another one is Soul City. That's the two clubs. And I have Cantina. But bars are most important.

What do you think of the West End?
The West End is good. Maybe we need more control because of the young people having some problems or they get some problems, but it's not bad. I don´t speak as a owner here but as a politic.

Words by Nahmean