La Granada – the restaurant I call home

La Granada interior Credit: Zhirayr Akopyan

Zhirayr Akopyan, from Armenia, has dedicated the past 8 years of his life to nurturing his restaurant, La Granada, creating a space where delightful cuisine and a warm social atmosphere await each client.

Zhirayr spent half of his life living in Moscow, where he met his wife Katerina but he always cherished the days spent by the Armenian mountains, with friends gathering for home-made dinners.

After coming to Spain with his family every summer, Zhirayr discovered the Calpe Ifach mountain and felt immediately at home.

In 2013, the family moved to Calpe. Being a business owner since his early 20s, Zhirayr found himself lit up with the idea of opening a restaurant.

With little knowledge of Spanish but a huge passion for gastronomy, Zhirayr and his wife opened La Granada in 2016, nestled on Calpe´s shoreline, with a breath-taking view of the sea.

Zhirayr never regretted his decision. “The best thing about having a restaurant is getting to know people from all over the world and seeing their gratitude for our service.”

Zhirayr developed the menu with his wife, inspired not only by Mediterranean cuisine but also by homemade meals made with love. 

Facing many struggles, Zhirayr and Katerina separated and closed the restaurant a few years later. 

Fortunately, La Granada had already become the favourite spot of many locals and visitors, so Zhirayr didn´t give up. 

He partnered with his friend John Beattie, an English man who had been coming to La Granada every time he visited Spain. Zhirayr encouraged John to move to Calpe and he finally relocated.

For John and Zhirayr, La Granada has become a place of comfort, where one is guaranteed to be surrounded by friends, exceptional cuisine and atmospheric music.

La Granada reopened soon after the pandemic, in a bigger venue, located on the same street, and renovated its design with the local artist, painting Armenian nature on the walls.

The menu was also renovated, with new chefs: the fresh fish, delicious meat and tasty tapas have stood out amongst many on the Coast. 

Zhirayr wanted to pay homage to his home country, and one of La Granada´s signature dishes is roasted lamb, made by traditional Armenian customs. 

The restaurant regularly updates its services with special Day Menus and unique cocktails.

Creating memorable moments, La Granada hosts live flamenco concerts by professional local musicians every Friday, and Zhirayr´s daughter, Anne Gerald, often performs jazz and blues in the afternoons.

With a growing clientele, Zhirayr is optimistic about 2024: “It is like a snowball. Every day, you meet new people. If you work hard, it builds up and that’s how you grow. It’s all done through the people.”

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Written by

Anna Akopyan

Originally from Moscow, with Russian and Armenian origins, Anna has lived in Costa Blanca for over ten years. She is passionate about singing, acting and traveling.