El Nivel, a bar and restaurant specialising in Agave spirits and small plates, has recently opened in London’s Covent Garden.
Tomas Estes, the owner and founder of Pacifico Ventures Limited, has opened 17 bars and restaurants around the world since 1976 including venues in Amsterdam, Milan, Cologne, Paris and Sydney. The latest arrival is the team’s 18th venue and also is the first UK based branch.
Pacifico Ventures Limited comprises El Nivel and La Perla Bar and both brands celebrate Agave spirits. We caught up with owner Tomas Estes to find out more about the inspiration behind El Nivel, as well as getting to grips with the newest addition to the brand. He said:
“We call our El Nivel’s Agaveria as it serves up an array of spirits including Tequila, Mezcal and other agave spirits. El Nivel’s goals are to create an atmosphere that is refined and upmarket which celebrates Agave spirits.
“Having grown up in Los Angeles there is the second largest Mexican community in the world and I have always related to that. I went to Mexico as soon as I could and have always had this love of the country; to me Mexico and tequila is the same thing, my passion for both has increased over the years.”
The new venue is situated in the same building as La Perla Bar which has been there for the past 17 years. The Alto building spans four storeys with La Perla spread across the ground floor and basement, and the first and second floor is now the home to El Nivel.
The 34 cover venue can be accessed via a set of stairs which lead directly into the intimate bar area. The venue holds tables for 20 diners and an additional 14 covers for those wishing to dine at the bar or on stools.
The large, light oak bar is an impressive feature of the space and adds to the light and airy feel the space has. The first floor also contains a wooden floor, wooden bar and back bar which complement the off white walls and striking artwork which adorn the venue’s walls.
Palm plants can also be found dotted throughout the first floor amongst the bespoke leather chairs and bar stools. The colour scheme is mainly brown, due to the vast amount of wood, but maroon accents have also been included which adds a splash of colour and vibrancy to the space.
The main contractor on the project was Bluegroup Leisure and the Pacifico team did the design mostly in house.
El Nivel’s food offer has been created by Cordon Bleu Head Chef, Eamonn Mullen, who has crafted the menu to ensure the dishes are delicious and innovative. The menu boasts a varied charceuterie plate which has selected cold cuts, an impressive cheese platter, pork belly crackling served with a teriyaki sesame sauce and a fillet of beef with seared foie gras.
Tomas said the feedback since opening has been extremely positive and the venue has received rave reviews from Highball Hoodoo, Anastrophe And Cheese, BarChick, DesignMyNight, JustOpenedLondon and Best Bars.
“Our company has always endeavoured to lead in our market and we feel that nobody has offered customers such an array of rare and collectable tequilas before, as well as sharing a highly refined food menu.”
Bluegroup Leisure specialise in refurbishment and fit-out projects within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The company has been in operation since 2006 and within this time has worked on hundreds of projects. Some this year’s most notable projects have included remodelling works for department store Heals, several schemes for Timberland Europe (including the new Amsterdam store) and the recent My Art Invest gallery project on Commercial Street.
Most recently Bluegroup Leisure was appointed main contractor on El Nivel, taking the project from a disused space into a working restaurant. As part of the works, Bluegroup Leisure made some structural alterations, installed the bar, new kitchen and washrooms and conducted a complete restaurant fit-out.
Bluegroup Leisure Director, Andrew Dangerfield, said:
“Projects like this are very important to us. Restaurant and retail projects are by their nature bespoke, but this is what we enjoy and it is what we have always done. Our location in London makes us perfectly poised to get involved with projects and it is great to see how we can transform spaces into something innovative but also inviting.”
“One of our most challenging projects this year, which looks great, is My Art Invest gallery which was a fantastic project to be involved with and something which we are very proud of.”