They are due to open their third bar, Barrio East, in Shoreditch High Street, with Latin American street food, a mix of Latin-twisted and original cocktail creations, DJs and live music, and stylish, quirky interiors inspired by colourful Latin quarters around the world.
Founded by entrepreneur and music fanatic Ferdie Ahmed, the team behind Barrio Bars also includes Sat Ghuman and Ani Kyriacou. The first Barrio opened in Islington, north London, in 2007, followed by Barrio Central (pictured) in Soho in 2010.
The new 300-capacity bar is being designed by Dtwo Design, headed by David Taylor and Dominic Knight, who have worked on many top London bars including Callooh Callay, The Rose Club, Goodge Street’s London Cocktail Club, The Lonsdale and Barrio Central. It is in the former site of bar and club Avalon which opened in 2010.
It will be divided into two concepts, Barrio Downtown and Barrio Uptown, to suit different moods. Barrio Uptown will be Cuban hotel lobby meets colonial courtyard meets Mexican speakeasy. Tucked away at the back of the venue via a discrete entrance, it will be an elegant but fun space, where shirt-and-braces bartenders will take exquisite care in crafting classic cocktails.
Ideal for private functions, Barrio Uptown will be self-contained, with its own marble-top bar, DJ facilities, space for dancing and plenty of intimate booth seating.
Barrio Downtown, familiar from other sites, will have a long orange-top bar dividing those looking to sit back and relax in the Timber Yard from those looking to join the party in La Boca Barrio. The La Boca Barrio area will be inspired by the colourful Argentinian neighbourhood of the same name in Buenos Aires, with its brightly coloured facades, made from reclaimed ship timber.
The new venue will also have a Barrio design classic, a 1960s Sprite four-berth caravan, customised for guests to sit back and enjoy. With its House of Hackney wallpaper, the caravan will offer a perfect vantage point to take in live performances on stage.
With an entertainment programme seven days a week, heavy on DJs and live acts, guests will find themselves gravitating towards Barrio Downtown as the night continues into the early hours.
Barrio East’s Timber Yard will host another impressive structure: striking booth seating made from colourful wooden planks stacked floor to ceiling, against exposed brick work and a hot tin roof. This space, available for private hire, will be for daytime people-watching, wi-fi and enjoying the lunch and brunch menu.
A new cocktail menu will be launched across all Barrio bars coinciding with the opening of Barrio East. It will be divided into “New Releases”, “Remixes” and “Greatest Hits”. Each cocktail will be paired with a suggested song track that matches the drink. Examples will include a Gingerbread Colada paired with Coconut Woman by Lloyd Price, made with Santa Teresa Añejo rum, Koko Kanu coconut rum, pineapple juice, cream, gingerbread syrup and lemon juice, garnished with pineapple, maraschino cherry and a gingerbread man.
The Cape Fizz will be paired with I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye, which uses Chilean pisco Aba, muddled red grapes, Xante pear liqueur, apple juice, lemon and a dash of soda, garnished with an apple fan and a bunch of grapes.
Dishes range from the Mexican all-day breakfast of Huevos Rancheros to antojitos (small plates) of calamari, ribs and crispy pork belly. Other dishes will include Queso Fundido, a Mexican fondue made with melted Monterey Jack cheese served with soft flour tortillas, tomato chilli jam and choice of mushrooms, chorizo or chicken.
It will be open from midday Monday to Friday and from 11am at weekends, with a licence to 2am seven nights a week.