Ignacio Jimenez, a veteran of the downtown bar scene, will concentrate on Mexican ingredients and hospitality.
In the United States, the owners of tequila bars and mezcal bars have tended to stick to a similar script over the past decade. They focused primarily on highlighting the history behind each bottle displayed on the bar. Superbueno is a new bar scheduled to open in the East Village on April 21, and it aims to change the way Mexican culture will be perceived.
Ignacio Jimenez (also known as Nacho) was born in Leon in central Mexico's state of Guanajuato. Superbueno's co-owner and manager, Mr. Jimenez wants to show off his native Mexico in his bar, its atmosphere, and even the service.
"There's a kind of ease and welcomingness that we have inherently," said Jimenez when reflecting on the nature Mexican hospitality. We just want you to feel welcomed. We live by this every day.
Mexican cuisine is evident in each cocktail. Nogada Fizz is a cocktail that uses poblano-infused gin and pays homage to the dish chiles in nogada. The green mango Martini is made with Sauternes and tequila, as a tribute to Mr. Jimenez’s childhood fresh-fruit stands. The roasted-corn-sour, which is a tequila and whiskey drink, was inspired by Mexican esquites (roasted corn with lime, chile and chili). And the Sopa del Dia, is a boilermaker made of a shot raicilla and a cup of traditional birria soup, spiced with hot-sauce beer.
Even non-alcoholic cocktails contain ingredients such as mole spices, poblanos, and guajillo chilies.
The menu prepared by chef Cyed Adraincem who worked closely alongside Mr. Jimenez includes quesadilla Bombas - an updated version of traditional quesadilla - as a deep fried tortilla filled rajas and chicharron with salsa de serrano, escabeche, and cheese; and tostadas Campechanas - a rotating daily selection of cured fish.
Jeannette Kaciorowski's design will be bright and airy, with colors that you would find in Mexico. It will also incorporate geometric elements that refer to the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragan. The walls are covered with hand-painted Mexican signs and luchador masks.
Mr. Jimenez (45), who arrived in New York with only $100 in his pocket in 2001, has worked his way through the hospitality ladder in the last 20 years. He was a bartender at the Daily and Saxon & Parole. He became known as one of the most gracious bartenders in the cocktail industry at Ghost Donkey, an East Village bar that is now closed. Greg Boehm, owner of Katana Kitten, Mace and Cabinet, is his partner at Superbueno.
Mr. Boehm said that Superbueno would be the Mexican version of his bar Katana Kitten. He owns it with Masahiro Urushido, and it is a mix of New York bar influences and Japanese bar influence. Superbueno's name is a mix-up.
Mr. Jimenez claims he's 'addicted" to making others happy. He said, 'We are really lucky to have a space so bright and light.' People will feel this energy. It's there every time I enter.
Superbueno, 13 First Avenue (East First Street), 347-866-7739, superbuenonyc.com.