Situated underneath Sloane Square Hotel in London, Tonteria is a brand new Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar from Guy Pelly and Marc Burton.
The site opened in October 2012 and with an eclectic mix of drinks – and the capacity to accommodate up to 200 people – Tonteria is set to become a huge success.
Work began on the project in August 2012. dtwo design provided all of the interior design work on the site and along with a team of subcontractors transformed the 2,350 sq ft basement into a stunning subterranean eatery.
Discussing Tonteria, dtwo design Company Director, David Knight, said:
“Tonteria is a high-end, no-nonsense, Mexican speakeasy designed to appeal to a very discerning West London crowd. The site has a really good atmosphere, with hedonistic, vibrant areas inspired by the Latin American festival Day of the Dead, which all help to create a mad, and off the wall late night venue.”
Upon entry into Tonteria, guests descend down a staircase into the reception lobby. To the right hand side of the lobby the space has been designed to look like a Mexican bank, with heavily distressed wooden and steel features, whilst to the left is a Hacienda inspired feature wall and entry into the restaurant and bar.
Features of the restaurant include heritage mosaic tiles, a collection of ‘dirty’ crates, and heavily distressed walls all designed to incorporate an authentic traditional Mexican flavour into the site. Another notable feature is the multi functional banquette seating, in which guests can charge their smartphones, store their handbags, or stow their seat pads within the integrated lockers.
Tonteria also squeeze in hammocks, aged roofing timber, Mexican foliage, whilst seating can be rearranged to create a more practical dancing space once the drinks start flowing. Meanwhile a metal bulkhead, which runs around the whole of the restaurant, includes a Mexican train – complete with station stops above each booth – to allow a locomotive to deliver tequila and other signature drinks to each table.
“At dtwo design we design bars and clubs and have a broad range of specialist contractors who help us to build our mad environments and approach our projects with a ‘what if ‘rather than using tried and tested means. We hope this keeps us and our ideas fresh and ultimately makes for more exciting spaces for end users. On this project we worked everything out before we even arrived on site but thankfully we encountered no huge complications.
“There were times when space was tight and we had to push for challenging modifications to the existing infrastructure of air handling units, plenums and electrical installations – this was to be expected, after all we were working underneath a very busy hotel. The pressure was always on and we couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, so we completely modelled a 3D virtual environment and CGI visuals to help us out.”
Meanwhile external work on the site mostly concentrated on the installation of associated signage.
Describing the minimalist approach to the site’s entrance, Dave commented:
“Most people want a new shop front to draw people in as they walk past, but for us we wanted to keep Tonteria much more of a secret space. In order to do this we kept the external work to a minimum, so at night guests will mostly see a doorman, a rope and a very long queue.”
Although Tonteria is currently one of a kind, David and his team hope that the site doesn’t remain a solo pursuit for owners Guy and Marc, who have a vast experience in the industry.
Dominic Taylor, David’s Business Partner at Dtwo said:
“I am proud of the work that we have completed on Tonteria and I really hope we see more of these sites. There is an incredibly strong brand incorporated within this design – the possibilities really are endless.”
“The first thing that strikes me about this project, now that it is completed, is that it is really brave space. A site like this, which attracts a certain high-end client base, would usually incorporate polished walls and aged antique mirrors, but what we have done is spin this idea on its head, by delivering the exact opposite.”
“We’ve been aware of Guy and Marc’s work for some time and we have even engaged with them on a few past projects but when they approached us with this idea for Tonteria we jumped at the chance to get involved.
“The feedback has already been cracking. On the opening night everyone was having a great time, blissfully unaware of the sweat and toil that had gone into this project and Guy and Mark were stood there with smiles on their faces. That was the icing on the cake.”
ResCom Property Maintenance
For over seven years, ResCom Property Maintenance has specialised in maintenance work for residential and commercial properties, including internal fit-out works, decorating, electrical installations and plumbing.
ResCom Property Maintenance has a varied portfolio of clients and has completed work for Sloan Square Hotel, Kinnaird House in Pall Mall, Coral Bookmakers, Granada Bingo Halls and Clarks Shoes, amongst others. In addition, ResCom Property Maintenance also conducts work for a number of London Estate agents as well as private residential properties.
Working on Tonteria, ResCom Property Maintenance was responsible for a significant level of works, including stripping out, general refurbishment, plumbing, decorating and mosaic floor tiling.
ResCom Property Maintenance, Managing Director Bob Davies, said:
“Tonteria was a great job to be involved with. The site has such a high profile and as we had previously been involved with Sloan Square Hotel it was great to be involved with work that allowed us to return to the site. There was a good team of contractors on the project and this created a good working relationship between everyone involved.”
“As a property maintenance company our main aim is to complete our work as though we were never there. We like to go into a job, rectify the problem and then leave a clean site.”