Madrid’s characterful old bars and tabernas are monuments in their own right. These living, breathing, drinking time capsules are as much a part of history as they are an enduring feature of daily life. In Madrid, bars are not merely drinking holes; they are ground-dwelling extensions of residents’ living-rooms. Places to meet, eat, chat, read, reflect, and yes, of course – drink. In recent years, Madrileños have bemoaned the slow but steady disappearance of some of the city’s most beloved bars; closing down in the face of tough economic times and inflamed by the expiration of an antiquated rental law (that saw some rent prices skyrocket). Yet, some of the city’s oldest, most beloved bars are being passed on to a younger generation, providing a drop of hope for the longevity of these ancient institutions. For the latest outing of ‘Raising the Bar,’ stake out a spot at the recently re-badged Casa Macareno, order a caña, choose your ración, and raise your glass to celebrate this month’s most treasured bar de Madrid.