El Pastor Soho is expected to launch in June, fulfilling a long-held goal for Sam and James Hart and Crispin Somerville, who had originally looked at Soho for their debut El Pastor before settling on London Bridge’s Stoney Street.
“Soho is our spiritual home in many ways. It’s where Fino launched, it’s where we have Barrafina and Quo Vadis, and James, Crispin and I spent many long, happy evenings in HIX Soho under Mark’s stewardship,” says Sam. “We plan to do justice to the legacy of this special, magnetic site with El Pastor Soho and create wonderful experiences for 2021 and beyond."
The menu will offer the Mexican dishes that El Pastor has become known for, inspired by the decade Sam and Crispin spent living in Mexico City and the travels of the three founders around wider Mexico. As with all the Pastor restaurants, all the tortillas are made in-house daily using heirloom Mexican corn, sourced through the Tamoa co-operative in Mexico.
There will be a new focus on fiery seasonal seafood tostadas, reflecting the cuisine of Baja California. Also making its debut will be a crispy duck taco sharing plate.
The bar will serve a selection of mezcals, tequilas and other agave spirits, as well as cocktails, Mexican beers, and a ‘short but proficient’ wine list.
James Hart has taken the lead on the design for the 86-cover ground floor and 60-cover basement himself, working with Concorde BGW.
The ground floor will reference the faded grandeur of some of the old official buildings of downtown Mexico City, with terrazzo tiles, muted walls, chandeliers and hanging plants.
HIX Soho's famous zinc bar has been retained, and will be stacked with glass demi-johns of mezcal.
The lower ground floor will be styled as ‘Mezcaleria El Colmillo,’ named after the nightclub Sam and Somerville ran in the 90s and 00s in Mexico City. Taking inspiration from the many sunrises they witnessed in their Mid-Century apartment in the Condesa district, the basement will be a modern take on that style. There will be a house party vibe, DJ decks and a Funktion 1 sound system.
In the basement, there will be a musical programme with a broad church of genres, encompassing Latin American, electronica and whatever else feels right. DJ Cal Jader and Playlister will be involved in the curation.
Harts Group launched its first El Pastor site near London Bridge in 2016 and followed up with Tortilleria EP in Maltby Street Market and Casa Pastor and Plaza Pastor in King’s Cross.
HIX Soho closed in late 2019 after 10 years in business marking the end of chef restaurateur Mark Hix's presence in the West End.