Mexican restaurant Lupita doubles up with new site in Spitalfields

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mexican cuisine

Mexican restaurant Lupita launched with a site on Villers Street in 2010 and has just opened a second venue - this time in Spitalfields
Mexican restaurant Lupita launched with a site on Villers Street in 2010 and has just opened a second venue - this time in Spitalfields
Lupita, a Mexican restaurant operated in the UK as part of a partnership with Mexico City-based taquería group El Farolito, has opened its second site in London with a venue in Spitalfields.

The 130-cover Commercial Street restaurant officially launched at the end of last week after a brief soft-opening period. It may well be joined by more sites in the capital as the company plans to expand further next year.

More relaxed

"Clients were asking 'when are we going to have one closer to me' and so we decided we had been open for a year, had the process and people in place and it was time to expand," Kent Bowen, one of the owners of the restaurant, told BigHospitality. 

Lupita originally launched in the UK in 2010 with a 110-cover site on Villiers Street.

"The queue at our other restaurant can sometimes be up to an hour long. When you have got a business like that you know you have got to expand - an hour is a long wait! We wanted to create an environment that was a little bit more comfortable, relaxed and low key.

"We are excited about this one because we have spent two years preparing for number two. To be able to be in east London is exciting. We do want to grow - if we were able to open another one or two next year, we would be very happy with that."

Although there are growth targets in place, the team have not drawn up a list of locations they want to operate in. "Just finding the right venue and the right space is the important part to me," Bowen explained.

Authentic

With the well-publicised growth of Mexican restaurant operators in the capital and beyond, Lupita is competing in a packed marketplace. However Bowen argued there is room for all the different types of operators while Lupita's authenticity gives it an advantage.

"Our executive chef Marco (Cuervo) is from Mexico City - it is where he grew up and went to culinary school. We import as many ingredients as we can from Mexico to keep those flavours and we keep to those very traditional recipes that are followed in Mexico City," he explained.

The extensive Lupita menu features tacos, quesadillas, tortas and Mexican specialities such as Chicharron de Queso y Guacamole - crispy rolled cheese with guacamole - with an average price point of £6-12 for a main.

"People come to our restaurant from Mexico City and they say 'wow I can't believe I got Pastor y Tacos like this outside of Mexico City. There are all kinds of variations to Mexican food, just like there is to Italian depending on the region - there is a market for everything."

El Farolito was originally founded in the Mexican capital half a century ago. The restaurant brand is now one of the financial backers in Lupita; the partnership also allows the UK team to use the original recipes and receive guidance on the food offer.

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Venues

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