Stonegate Pub Company has modernised popular Chester bar Fiesta Havana
With its Cuban-style cocktails and party atmosphere, Fiesta Havana has been bringing Latin American vibes to Chester for many years. To keep it at the top of the city’s nightlife, Stonegate Pub Company has invested £145,000 in a major refurbishment of the late-night basement bar, giving it a bright and vibrant new look.
It enlisted leading hospitality specialist DV8 Designs to add “just that bit more cha cha cha” to the interiors. The Cuban theme has been updated but still complements the medieval building’s original features such as vaulted brick ceilings. The existing bar area was renovated and recladded to make it a real focal point, explains DV8’s managing director, Lee Birchall. “We introduced a vibrant colour scheme that combines bright hues with a softening rustic edge which carried through the three vaulted spaces and into the toilets.”
To the main entrance, they installed wall tile-effect wallpaper and revamped the seating area with new fixed seating to create a comfortable and inviting social space. Worn-effect timber and patterned muted tiles were installed to completely uplift the interior’s Cuban aesthetics. “It’s definitely a significant transformation as nothing went untouched as we wanted to capture the essence of traditional Cuban culture with a completely modern-day appeal,” Lee says.
The vibrant new look is matched by the Latin-American offering, making Fiesta Havana a place to drink, eat, dance and party under one roof. Open from midday seven days a week, it has a food menu led by a tapas selection of Spanish and Latin American dishes from patatas bravas and nachos to chicken taquitos and mushroom arepa corn cakes. Alongside “hamburguesas” with Latin ingredients, there are sharing “planks” of tapas and tacos plus quesadillas, fajitas, and salads in tortilla baskets as well as a grill menu ranging from steaks to grilled Tabasco tuna. Other popular dishes include a chimichanga stuffed with chicken, chorizo, rice, sautéed vegetables and cheese, a pork hock feijoada, and a xim xim stew made with crayfish, chicken, peanut butter, coconut milk and vegetables.
Open to at least 1am every night and 3am on Saturdays, the bar lubricates its salsa and mambo vibes with an extensive drinks selection, including a 68-strong list of cocktails, priced between £7.25 and £7.95, with deals from £3.50 during happy hour from 5pm to 8pm. Alongside plenty of classics and variants on Margaritas, Bellinis and Mojitos, there are original drinks from the bar team such as the Secret Garden with Bloom gin, limoncello, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, apple juice, mint and lemon, created by Nicky Groves. Sweet-toothed drinkers can tap into the Candy Shop list with drinks such as a Peanut Butter Cup with Absolut Vanilia vodka, crème de cacao, peanut butter, chocolate sauce, milk and cream. With its fresh new look and menus, Fiesta Havana looks ready to rumba for many more years to come.
Fiesta Havana, 39-41 Watergate Street, Chester CH1 2LB
Tel: 01244 347878
Behind the scenes
Design: DV8 Designs
Contractor: Myriad Contracts
Furniture: Carlick Contract Furniture
Lighting: E2 Contract Lighting
Flooring: Havwoods, Polyflor
Tiles: Johnson Tiles
Originally published in the August 2017 print edition of Bar magazine.