A watering hole in Spain is serving up free beer and tapas to customers who insult its bartenders as a way to let off recession-linked steam.

Casa Pocho in the beach resort town of Cullera near Valencia opened last week and says its promotional gimmick is working like a charm.

Polish-born co-owner Bernard Mariusz said Monday that the ribbing must be good-natured, not mean, and that the free drinks go only to those who come up with really original wisecracks.

Mariusz said he and business partner Michal Lotocki came up with the idea to help people relax in times of economic hardship.

He said one good zinger came from a woman who told him his ears were so big they reminded her of a car with its doors wide open.