As Ataula sister-restaurants 180 and Chesa prepare to open on NE Broadway, owners Cristina Báez, José Chesa, and Emily Metivier announce two major additions to the team: Tony Guardian (Imperial) will serve as bar manager at Chesa, and Ingrid Chen, previously the head chef of Remedy Wine Bar, will serve as office manager of all three restaurants. Gurdian took charge of the Imperial bar program last fall when reputed bartender Brandon Wise left for Denver, and at Chesa, he's preparing Spanish sherry and vermouth cocktails and a very special gin and tonic, because, as everyone knows, Spain is obsessed with gin.
One of the largest importers of gin in the world, Spain has developed a love of "Gin Tonics," not to mention numerous gin bars mostly geared toward late-night clubbing. According to Chesa, once Spanish tapas bars took notice, gin and tonics became a popular tapas pairing, and Chesa will let American palates test the theory with a signature G&T.
Chesa will also feature an extensive list of sherries and a new sangria menu. Spanish wine enthusiasts will be glad to hear about the extensive wine list, currently being developed by Metivier with the help of Jose Chesa's father, who also happens to be the inspiration for the restaurant.
With bated breath, fans of Ataula's Spanish tapas prepare for the restaurant's sister restaurants to open. Poised to open mid-December, 180 will be a small churros and drinking chocolate bar, and when it opens in 2016, Chesa will be a full restaurant specializing in Spanish tapas and paella.