Café Riche

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Café Riche is a musical venue in Birgu.

Café Riche in Birgu.

Established in 1933, it was a mecca of entertainment in Cottonera area for many decades. Other than small concerts, it also held coffee mornings in election campaigns by major political candidates, including former Labour prime minister Dom Mintoff.

It was also the site for many gigs and dances, popular with both Maltese and servicemen working at Fort St. Angelo, the victualing yard in Birgu and the admiralty docks. In the Sixties it was a popular dive frequented by the local Teddie boys, sporting their motorcycles.

The site has a verandah on the front, overlooking the thoroughfare leading to Bormla, only a few metres away. The roofed bar area is flanked by an internal courtyard shadowed by the bastions, and an arched yard greened with bougainvillea shrubs that is a sweet reprise from the outside bustle.

The Café Riche omnibus is an area landmark.

Café Riche's omnibus, placed on the roof shadowing the arched courtyard, is one of the most famous landmarks in Cottonera. It is visible from a distance as one makes an uphill approach to Birgu's main gate from the waterfront or descends from the Santa Margerita neighbourhood in Bormla.