Former U.S. president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, arrived in Barcelona on Thursday night and were taken to Gran Hotel La Florida, where they joined movie director Steven Spielberg and rock star Bruce Springsteen, who is scheduled to play a concert in the Catalan capital on Friday. The Obamas and Spielberg, who are attending the event, dined with the musician at Amar restaurant, located inside the Palace Hotel.
A large security deployment Thursday outside the luxury hotel on Gran Via — the former Ritz — indicated that something unusual was going on at the establishment. A row of black cars were parked in the taxi and bus lane in front of the hotel, and remained there for a few hours while the police diverted traffic. Drivers and plainclothes policemen occupied the vehicles. A while later, Pol Perelló, the restaurant’s head waiter, posted a photo on Instagram confirming that the Obamas, Spielberg and Springsteen had dined there.
Amar, run by the chef Rafa Zafra, opened in spring 2022 and specializes in top-of-the-line fish and seafood. The menu features oysters, which are prepared in eight different ways, and caviar.
Before the concert, scheduled for 9:00 p.m. at Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium, the Obamas are expected to go on a cultural tour of Barcelona, with possible stops at the Sagrada Familia, the famous basilica designed by Antoni Gaudí, and the Picasso museum.
The Obamas and Spielberg will watch the concert inside a safe “capsule” prepared especially for them near the stage, after they declined to be seated in the box, where some local authorities are expected to be. All three will be escorted into and out of the premises.
The 2023 tour marks the live return of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band after their 14-month The River Tour ended in Australia in February 2017. Springsteen has stated that, after six years, “I can’t wait to see our incredible and loyal fans again.”
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