London & South East

Go East: Barrio East

Barrio East- Shoreditch High Street, London

Located on Shoreditch High Street, London, Barrio East is the latest site to open under the Latin American-themed Barrio name.

The site opened its doors for the first time in November 2012 and joins two other London-based Barrio sites, Barrio North in Islington, and Barrio Central in Soho.

Similar to its sister sites, Barrio East is a cantina, cocktail bar and club, which combines imaginative cocktails, a tempting array of traditional street food and an electric atmosphere to create the ultimate Latin experience. Dishes include Queso Fundido and Huevos Rancheros, whilst drinks include the Cape Fizz, the Ron Alejandro and the Gingerbread Colada.

Work began on Barrio East in September 2012. Working with a team of subcontractors, award-winning design specialist, dtwo design provided all of the interior design work on the site, with the construction overseen by Aaron Lewis from Trust and Able.

Commenting on dtwo design’s involvement with Barrio East, Dominic Taylor, dtwo design, said:

“When we got asked to be involved with the site that would become Barrio East we found it quite amusing as we have quite a history with this particular building. A while back, when the site was just an empty shell, and long before it became Barrio East, we were set to work on a completely different project, however it never came to pass.

Barrio East- Shoreditch High Street, London

“We were then subsequently asked to be a part of two additional projects, all on the same site, yet neither of these became a reality either. Finally it was Barrio East that got off the ground, so it is great to say that it was fourth time lucky for this particular site.”

Barrio East is divided into three separate areas – Barrio Downtown, Barrio Uptown and La Boca – and has the capability to accommodate up to 500 guests. Whilst Barrio Uptown incorporates a fun, yet elegant space, Barrio Downtown is a more relaxed affair and includes the Timber Yard – an intimate space with seating carved out of stacked timber, where guests can sit back and enjoy the atmosphere with friends.

Dominic said:

“Barrio Downtown is a fun quirky area of the site, and has a ramshackle, eclectic feel to it, which includes the multi coloured herringbone floor. La Boca is the dance floor area – with space for a live DJ – and a private VIP caravan. The caravan is an idea which is part of the Barrio brand identity, borrowed  from Barrio North and makes for a fantastic feature for Barrio East, as it provides a space where guests can sit and watch the DJ or any live performances.

Barrio East- Shoreditch High Street, London

“Meanwhile in the Downtown area we have an equally impressive booth seating area which was constructed from a mix of reclaimed timber with exposed bricks walls and was completed with a tin roof. It is quite a complex structure and quite difficult to describe to anyone who hasn’t seen it, but it is very memorable and certainly has the wow factor. It can also be seen by passersby which helps create the pull factor.”

Dominic added:

“For the chairs in the Timber Yard we used Mexican tablecloths for the upholstery. This gave the design quite a funky look, which is very vibrant and very different and helped to create something which has not been seen before in a site such as this.”

A feature which certainly stands out – and is present in each Barrio – is the impressive red ribbon-like bar, which runs the entire length of the down town area and incorporates colourful tiles. Meanwhile the flooring includes colourful herringbone tiles, which have been arranged in different colours to create a elegant random pattern.

Barrio East- Shoreditch High Street, London

Additional features of Barrio East include pineapple-shaped glass lights, customised ‘ceiling’ paper, distressed tables, hexagonal tiles and a ‘copper-ivy’ wall, which showcases a stunning collection of copper piping that appears to grow up the wall like a plant.

David Knight, dtwo design said:

“Whenever we undertake work on a bar or a restaurant we always have to complete the project within a very tight deadline. Opening nights are always pre-booked, so there are always strict deadlines that we need to adhere to. On this project we worked with Trust and Able, a great project management team, who helped us to keep the scheme on track and I am pleased to say that everything ran smoothly.

“This was a very important project for us. Over the last ten years we have conducted many works up and down the country, but as we are a Shoreditch-based company that have done several projects in the Shoreditch area – including Callooh Callay and Lena – it was nice to complete another show-stopping project close to home. This work has allowed us to show local people exactly the kind of work we can still achieve and helps us to raise the bar.”

The Barrio brand was conceived by Ferdie Ahmed, Sat Ghuman and Ani Kyriacou. The first site – Barrio North – opened in 2007 and was followed in 2010 with the debut of Barrio Central, before Barrio East opened in November 2012.

For more information on Barrio please visit:

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