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Wahaca comes to Soho

It’s been quite a journey over the last 6 months turning 80 Wardour Street from a local boozer, into the 4th member of the Wahaca family. There’s been plenty of fun and games along the way, and we can hardly believe we’re saying it, but with a massive grin we’re happy to declare Wahaca Soho OPEN.

There have certainly been some highlights.

Since our first table went up in July we knew this place was going to be a bit special. Building site chic was never going to last though.

When we lost one of our pigs back in September, with a bit of help from our facebook fans, the lovely Catty found it sniffing out its new home! It was a total sty back then.

We soon realised that style is the name of the game in Soho. We thought that the new place would appreciate its own T-shirt, so its own T-shirt it would have. And not just any T-shirt, oh no, a competition winning T-shirt. We asked you lot to get to work and send us a design that brought to life the spirit of Wahaca. Over 50 local designers and Photoshop-savvy folk from around the country had a go, and it was no easy task selecting a winner. In the end we chose a design by Matt Burke, who is none-other than Head of Art, just down the road at Addiction London. They can now add the honour of Wahaca T-shirt designers to the growing list of accolades. Matt’s going to be a pretty regular feature in the new restaurant. His prize was a year’s worth of free food at 80 Wardour Street.

Artistic talent has been hanging around the site in hoards in the past few weeks, and to name just a few we were delighted to invite Remi/Rough in to graffiti the place.

Whilst Barton Hargreaves spent months circling Soho with his camera so he could build the montages which you’ll see climbing our bare-brick walls.

Jose was put to work constructing our foosball tables, which have already seen some seriously close-fought battles down in our tequila bar. Surely with 2 tables to practice on someone will be able to take on the mighty Hassan at Wahaca Canary Wharf.

Nate, a familiar face from Wahaca Covent Garden, has been hard at work with the new bar team – training them on the list of over 20 top class 100% agave tequilas and turning our basement into the best tequila bar in the town, and the perfect place to enjoy some of our new cocktails.

In fact, we’ve not made it easy on ourselves. From Wahaca’s very beginnings we wanted to minimise the impact we make on the environment and community around us. So throughout the build we have done everything possible to keep our waste levels down. In fact 90% of all rubbish generated from the building work has been recycled. You might notice that the wooden floors from the old Slug and Lettuce are now our ceiling, walls and bar (Don’t worry we made sure we gave them a good clean). And we’ve put plenty of clever little things in place to continue that commitment as the restaurant does its thing. Hidden in a back room are a handy glass crusher, and cardboard bailer that help make recycling easier. Two weeks ago the last arrangements were made so that now 100% of the restaurants’ waste will be recycled, we’re very proud to say that nothing from our Soho site will be going to landfill.

And now after some tremendous effort from so many marvellous people it’s time for us to stop talking about it, get the doors wide open and hand this restaurant over to you. We hope you like it.

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Remi/Rough gets to work in Soho

With our new restaurant on Wardour Street in Soho fast approaching completion, one of the last tasks is to get someone to splash a bit of paint on the walls. You know, make it look nice.

In fact, local residents and inquisative passers by may have noticed that there’s been quite a bit of that going on, and we’ll give you the full low down on all of the artists that worked on the interior soon. But today, it was the turn of Remi Morgan or Remi/Rough (to those in the know) and we thought he deserved special mention due to his recent involvement in the often whispered about, but until yesterday never reported, Underbelly Project.

Thanks to Vandalog for the images via flickr and creative commons.

Remi was one of 100 of the worlds top street artists that was invited to take part in a one off art project, deep under the heart of New York City in a dissused and now totally un-accessible subway station. The space was transformed into a exhibition to which only one reporter and a handful of photographers were invited, and which was only on show for one night. Pretty Cool.

When we asked him about it in a break from graffiting our bar, Remi mostly recalled the fear of being eaten by mutant sized rats, and the pitch black that perpetuated the space. With this in mind, we’ve left the lights on for him and you’ll be pleased to hear he’s doing a cracking job.