Antonio Belles and Cristina García have been running Lola Rojo on Northcote Road for the past six years. In 2010, they featured on Gordon Ramsay's F Word in his search for the country’s best local restaurant and business is doing well there.
“We’re full almost every night and we do double seating on Fridays and Saturdays,” García told BigHospitality. “A lot of times we have to turn people away because we don’t have any more space and some people do complain about the double seating.
“When we went on TV with Gordon Ramsay we were doing double seating almost every day, but it’s gone down a bit now. Northcote Road still needs more choices and this is an idea that my husband and I have had for the past couple of years.”
The couple had originally acquired a second site for the Lola Rojo concept in Fulham last year, but quickly realised the location wasn’t right and they sold the business after a few months.
“Maybe it was a mistake to open another restaurant with the same name,” added García. And Fulham just wasn’t as good a location as Northcote Road. We wanted to start something different and we were looking for premises in this area for a long time, because we know the type of people here.”
Rosita restaurant & bar
An undisclosed premium was paid for the 950 sq.ft, former Bistro Delicat site, which will re-open as the 50-cover Rosita restaurant and bar next month. The venue will feature a Josper oven, serving a range of meat and fish-based tapas dishes paired with various sherries.
“Antonio bought the charcoal oven so that we can do a few different tapas, not necessarily Spanish-based, even British dishes that will go well with the sherry. The whole idea is about matching natural food with sherry. We will do main courses that we don’t do at Lola Rojo, with fresh fish and fresh meat.”
Chef Belles and García will divide their time between the two Northcote Road venues, which will have two different head chefs and managers.
Speaking of the potential to open more sites in the future, García concluded: “We like to be on the top of our restaurants to make sure everything is running smoothly and it would be very difficult if we opened a third one, but you never know.”
Selsian acted on behalf of Bistro Delicat on the assignment of the existing lease.