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 Pepe Roselló the founder of Space Ibiza presents 

La Ibiza Vivida


Friday, 4th of March, was the presentation of the book La Ibiza Vivida, a biography of Pepe Roselló, the owner of the legendary Space, at Es Nautic, the Yacht Club of San Antoni de Portmany

A relaxed presentation, with a full house, and attendees, some,  eager for knowledge and others proud to have been part of this great history, of these unique and unrepeatable moments.


The book, of almost 650 pages and illustrated with around 200 photographs, describes the whole life of Pepe Roselló, who was born in 1936, just after the beginning of the Civil War, in the building La Mutual, in the suburb of Sant Antoni ; those streets that today are known as West End. The first chapters narrate the life of the fishermen, how the fishermen and sailors used to slaughter their catch in what are nowadays the streets lined with bars and pubs. Around them lived fishmongers, blacksmiths, carpenters, machine shops, soda factories and even stables and other army buildings. 


He said in the presentation that he felt obliged to thank everything that the island has offered him throughout his life and that without it he would never have been able to achieve, his people, his neighbours, the mothers and grandmothers who suffered, (his mother was widowed very young and brought him and his siblings forward with effort and dedication), in short, his beloved Ibiza.


He recounted in detail passages of his life, his contacts with royalty, great architects, illustrious figures from the opera, the arts and the business world. 


His childhood and adolescence


Pepe Roselló lost his father when he was only six years old, after the military man Vicent Roselló suffered a motorbike accident. He and his siblings were left in the care of their mother, María Prats, and their maternal grandparents. Grandfather Pep Prats, 'Bonet', who was a mayor, farmer, fisherman, shipowner, merchant and co-owner of the light factory, among other trades, acted as a father to all of them and ensured that they received a good education. Grandmother Maria cooked them tasty stews and helped his mother with the other chores.


After studying as a child at the Trinitarias de Sant Antoni, at the age of ten he went with his brother Vicent to board at the Colegio La Salle boarding school in Palma de Mallorca, and then spent a few years as a high school graduate at the Hotel Naranjo in Dalt Vila. He finished high school at the San Antonio School in Murcia, where the orphans of non-commissioned officers studied. In this city he also graduated as a Mercantile Professor and did his university militias in Montejaque (Ronda) and Tenerife. 


Return to Ibiza

He returned to Ibiza at the age of 23 and took over some family businesses, such as the bus company that he and Alfonso Ribas Piqué had in common, which ran the Sant Antoni-Ibiza line with the famous Parrala. Then, thanks to a betting game, he obtained unexpected money that allowed him to open his first restaurant, S'Olivar, in 1961.


The following year he opened El Rincón de Pepe, in Sant Mateu street, which still looks as it did then, although it is run by another family, and in 1963, together with his siblings Vicent, Antonio, Juanito and Maruja, he opened the first Mallorcan cellar-type restaurant in Ibiza, decorated with enormous barrel heads: El Refugio, today a bar and concert hall in the heart of the West End


In 1964 he went to Switzerland for a while to perfect his knowledge of the hotel business and there, by chance, he met Ko Dekker, a Dutch businessman who was spending his summer holidays in Sant Antoni, in the Bonet family villa. He informed him that the Capri nightclub had closed down and proposed to rent it out together, the Dutchman financing the whole operation.

Thus was born his first nightclub, the Capri-Playboy Club, which was the first to bring live rock bands and alternate their performances with turntable music. 


His next business, in 1975, was Playboy 2, in Carrer Santa Agnès, in the heart of the West End, which he conceived as a top-level discotheque, with first-class customer service. 


In 1989, Antonio Matutes proposed to him to take over the discotheque that this family owned in Platja d'en Bossa, which was barely functioning. Thus came Space, which Pepe raised from nothing to become the most awarded nightclub in the world, with 13 awards for the best in the world. It remained in the hands of Pepe Roselló until 2016, when the lease it had with Empresas Matutes came to an end.


Pepe is still vice-president of the Renata Tebaldi Foundation and runs the museum in the Italian town of Busetto, next to the Giuseppe Verdi Museum

Pepe Roselló has also been president of the Club Nàutic Sant Antoni in its first decade of existence, he also led the Association of Nightclub Businessmen of the island for twenty years and was councillor of Town Planning of Sant Antoni for two legislatures. We invite you to read this book, which is full of surprises and is undoubtedly an indispensable piece for lovers of the island and for those who are unaware of its illustrious history. The book is on sale, published by Neus Escandell Tur and distributed by Balafia Postals.

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