Julia Birzele of Jimmy’s Coco Beach on Ibiza talks to us about working and living on the beautiful White Isle
LB: Where are you and Jimmy originally from?
JB: We are both from southern Germany. Jimmy was born near the Lake of Constance and I funnily enough grew up only 100km north of there. So we are both Bavarians ;-)
LB: What first drew you to Ibiza and why did you choose to settle here? What year did you move to the island?
JB: Jimmy moved to Ibiza in 2000. Maybe it was the millennium spirit that influenced his decision. I think many people made a major change in their lives around the year 2000. But the funny thing is that originally he planned to go to Mallorca, but then an old friend from Germany who lived on Ibiza convinced him that Ibiza would be the better choice. I myself moved to Ibiza in 2008. I finished my studies in media economics that year and planned to do a gap year on Ibiza. I was looking for a job on the island and found a job advertisement as a waitress at Coco Beach. I didn’t know the place before. I sent my CV over, Jimmy called me, we arranged some days of probation and fell in love with each other the same week. Funny how life follows its own rules.
LB: How have you each seen Ibiza change and evolve over this time?
JB: Ibiza is getting more and more cosmopolitan and a centre of the international jet set. But Ibiza still keeps its unique mixture of luxury, hippy culture, tradition and for me the most important, tolerance! I’ve hardly seen any other place where you have so much freedom and tolerance.
LB: What are the origins of Coco Beach? How did it all begin?
JB: The chiringuito has been known under this name for 30 years. It was built in 1984 as a beach bar as part of the hotel and later was rented out to external people as a chiringuito. Coco Beach had its first period of prosperity in the late 80s, early 90s when it was also owned by two German guys. But later with the decline of the whole Playa d’en Bossa beach as a cheap party destination it also went through various changes until Jimmy took it over in 2004. At that time he had “Jimmy’s Finest” in Marina Botafoch, the leading marina on Ibiza, and everybody claimed him to be crazy to move to the discredited Playa d’en Bossa. The restaurant is situated on the quiet part of Playa d’en Bossa.
LB: Why did you choose this particular location?
JB: We are the last beach restaurant on Playa d’en Bossa at the end of the beach right next to the moorish defense tower “Sal Rossa”. It’s an amazing location and the beach is very wide and sandy. It’s the perfect place for a relaxed day on the beach.
LB: What’s Jimmy’s signature dish?
Our American beef filet imported from the USA, crispy grilled and with a side dish of your choice.
LB: The restaurant has just undergone a major refurbishment – what inspired the interior decoration?
JB: Well basically what we have around us, the sand and the sea. The interior reflects the colours of the sea and the sand. We combined different facets of blue and sandy colours with a lot of natural wood and mirrors. Everything is very warm and cosy.
LB: Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Coco Beach. How did you celebrate?
JB: It was almost a week of celebrations. We started with a friends and family event where we invited all the people we have worked with for so many years, then we did a ladies lunch for business ladies on the island, but the highlight was on the 10th of May, when we had a big party for all our customers with DJs, acrobats, singers and sax and violin players.
LB: What’s the best thing about running a restaurant on Ibiza?
JB: That you meet a lot of people from all over the world and from all professions and ages. I love connecting people and over the years we have introduced so many people to each other that have become friends or business partners. I’m always very happy when I see that I’ve been right with my feeling for people and that they get along very well with each other.
LB: What lifestyle advantages do you feel come with working and living on or owning property on Ibiza?
JB: We are living in one of the major lifestyle hotspots of the contemporary world that offers a lot of possibilities. Sometimes when I go somewhere I find myself saying, “oh there was that flyboard guy again or this and that show/act”, and then I have to wake myself up and remind myself that all these things are not the normal world. I mean, we are so privileged here, people are saving money and are waiting for months to go to a special party or a special club and we can just go there every day, know most people there and some places for me feel like my living room. This is so out of this world.
LB: Tell us about some of your favourite places on Ibiza and why?
JB: My favourite restaurant is Lio in the new marina. For me it’s just one of the best places in the world, offering dinner with a high class cabaret, one of the best views on the island and some partying afterwards. My favourite daytime place (besides Coco Beach) is the new Hard Rock Hotel and its beach bar. But the best beaches are on Formentera. Just rent a boat and drive to Formentera, have a nice lunch with your feet in the sand at Juan and Andrea and swim in the turquoise waters. And finally for clubbing, I love Vintage by Sebastian Gamboa, Fridays at Lio and the two gay parties, Café Olé and Elrow, at Space.
LB: Lastly, can you sum up Coco Beach in three words?
JB: Beaching. Indulgence. Relaxation.
Photo by Ibiza Style