Ibiza restaurants: Passion Cafés – It’s all happening!
There’s no such thing as an ordinary day in the life of Passion creator (and all round superwoman) Lana Love. With five restaurants already in full swing, a sixth about to re-open and the long-awaited seventh (hallelujah, it’s San Antonio) about to launch, she’s either knee-deep in massaged kale and sweet potatoes, writing and rewriting those legendary lengthy menus, overseeing the pouring of fresh concrete, coat of paint or laying of tiles – quite possibly a mixture of all of the above. Always with a cup of exceptionally good coffee close to hand. 2018 looks bigger and better than ever before for the Passion brand – but really, after 17 years slaying the healthy eating business in Ibiza, is anyone surprised?
Surprised, no. Impressed, yes. Lana Love reigns over her empire single-handedly (with the aforementioned specialty coffee in the other) and while many business owners struggle to keep up with opening one or two restaurants at the beginning of the season, this entrepreneur doesn’t just open her seven businesses all at once – she renovates and refurbishes them too. “Never underestimate the help of a great management team,” she says. “I’m not a one-woman show anymore – I definitely give credit to my hard working managers where it’s due.” So, on that note – let’s just say, in the world of Passion, it’s all happening, all at once!
The most highly anticipated launch of the season in Ibiza is without a doubt, Passion Coffee & Deli, in the beautiful San Antonio harbour. Loyal Passion customers who live on the west side of the island have been begging Lana for years to open a deli-style cafe for them and now it’s just a matter of a few weeks before their wish is her command. May 11, 2018 is the date to pencil into your diaries, when the latest Passion project is scheduled to be officially unveiled. “Just when I had been thinking I would never open another Passion in Ibiza, ever again, this location came along,” says Lana of the new space. “It was almost impossible for me to say not… and so I’ve thrown myself into another Passion ‘pregnancy’.”
Without giving away too many of her secrets prior to the ‘birth’ of her new baby, Lana teases Passion lovers with j-u-u-s-t enough details to start mouths watering. “This is my newest playground and our biggest highlight of the season,” she explains. “We worked around the existing café design as it had a big counter in the centre that would have been a shame to lose. It’s going to be a deli concept – of course, you can still sit down and enjoy your food, or choose to take away, but there will only be a very limited menu available from the small kitchen and the rest will be super fresh food served up on the spot from the big deli counter in the centre of the buzzing cafe.” Think tasty and healthy bowls of goodness that you can pick and mix to create your perfect combination: massaged kale, spicy sweet potatoes, hummus, grilled salmon, colourful salads and so much more Passion goodness.
Staying true to her ethos of serving up only the finest coffee, Lana has installed a swanky La Marzocco Strada coffee machine – a vision of sleek white with wood panelling – to keep the caffeine hits coming by day and by night. Smoothie bowls, coffee and cake, soft-serve ice cream, healthy tapas snacks – there’s something for everyone at Passion Coffee & Deli. The café and deli space boasts two floors – downstairs with a sunny terrace and upstairs with million dollar views over the boats in the marina – that can seat around 20 people, plus plenty of space for customers to mill around with takeaway coffees, juices and deli boxes and looks set to become the thumping heart of the buzzing area.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there have been changes afoot in the gorgeous seaside setting of Passion in Santa Eulalia. Having undergone a stylish refurb over the winter months, Lana recently revealed the space’s sleek new look and revamped menus to her loyal clientele – many of whom are dedicated vegans and vegetarians, in keeping with the restaurant’s core values. “Between breakfast and lunch alone there are over 60 options for vegan diners,” says Lana. “It’s a huge selection.” And for the ‘friends of vegans’ who may want a meatier menu option, never fear. “We might not do lobster and steak,” laughs Lana. “But we still have fish and chicken on the menu for lunch and dinner.”
Set right on the frontline of the promenade, directly in front of the beautiful fountain, it’s the ideal spot for people watching alongside your healthy or hearty meal. While Passion may often be associated with breakfast and lunch, Lana is working on changing people’s perceptions and reminding one and all that Passion is also open for dinner throughout the summer – complete with wine and cocktails! Later in the season, the newly refurbished restaurant space next door will also be opened to accommodate more diners due to popular demand – more floor space, more interior space for those who want to spend time on their laptops – by day and by night, this Passion is set to come alive.
Back towards Ibiza town, Passion in Marina Ibiza – which remained open all year round – continues serving up goodness to the movers and shakers of Ibiza, the visiting jet-set, the who’s who of DJs and their dogs! Definitely one of the most popular Passions, Lana says she is often accosted by customers who tell her they love this Passion but it’s always too busy (“That’s a great problem to have!” she says wryly) or those who think it’s the end of the world when breakfast finishes at 12pm. With the welfare (and mental health!) of these customers in mind, Lana has developed an all-new concept just a two-minute walk from Passion Marina, that satisfies those who aren’t willing to wait for their table.
Passion Pantry has always been the quiet achiever, presiding over a cool, shaded corner (behind the fabulous Las Boas apartments and across the road from the Vila Salut medical clinic) and serving up that Passion goodness in a chilled, laidback ambience. In 2018, to cater for the ‘overflow’ of customers skipping down the alleyway from Passion to Passion, Lana has extended the service area, added more seating and will now offer (cue: squeals of delight from Passion fans all over the world) an all-day breakfast concept in addition to a deli concept similar (though slightly smaller) to San Antonio.
“People come to Passion Pantry to find refuge,” says Lana of the space. “You can still get great coffee, grab your yoghurt bowl, açai bowl, scrambled eggs or pancakes, work on your computer with our fast WiFi, have a meeting, get some takeaway… it’s all here.” Some of the most popular dishes from Passion Marina have been added to the menu at Pantry so those looking for a quick takeaway option can get their fast fix. Speaking of fast fixes – Passion BFit (just around the corner) continues to serve up cold-pressed juices, smoothies and great coffee to Ibiza’s gym bunnies on a daily basis, and 2018 sees them adding more take-out pots and salads to the deli window to satisfy those on the run.
Over in Playa d’en Bossa is the OG Passion. The one that started it all and the one that is about to enter its 17th season of serving up health and happiness. Having refurbed the space again this winter, Lana still has a soft spot for her ‘baby’ Passion – no matter how many new restaurants she opens, PDB will always be special. “It’s not just my baby,” she explains. “So many people from around the world have an attachment to Passion Playa d’en Bossa. It’s a very special place. It’s the classic. People are always commenting on what great memories they have of the place – and although we’ve never ever gotten any bigger, we continue to get better and better with each year. Our standards just keep on getting higher.” And the queues of people outside the door at 10am every morning are testament to that!
Passion San Jose has reopened its doors, and thus its enormous sunny terrace, recently, with a slight menu revamp that brings the concept more in line with its sister restaurants due to popular demand. “There are a few special menu items – like Shakshuka for breakfast – that you can’t get at other Passions,” says Lana. “But now most of our breakfasts are the same because people just love them so much.”
“Passion is really growing up this year,” says Lana of her new look spaces. “Now I see my Passions like a blank canvas – before we had a lot of colour and so many signs everywhere, but now I’ve stripped everything back to a subtler look. The character and playfulness is still there, but it’s my customers who really make it. Once the spaces are full of people talking and laughing, and the tables are covered in beautiful colourful dishes… that’s what makes it come to life.”
While on the subject of Passion customers, Lana has also been hard at work this winter redeveloping the popular Passion Magazine, soon to be on sale in all Passions, and found in some of the island’s most discerning hotels. Expanding the concept to become a coffee table style collector’s book, she has collaborated with many of her regular customers on the content. “All of my articles are written by my customers. It’s designed by one of my customers, photographed by one of my customers and edited by one of my customers,” she says. “It’s really a ‘Passion’ project of mine and I wanted it to be a dedication to my clients.” Knowing her passionate customer base, it’s certain the magazine will become a collector’s item in no time.