Award-winning restaurateur Markus Thesleff is bringing experimental cocktails to London’s Notting Hill via Mexican Japanese-inspired bar Viajante87. Set to open in late November, the space joins sister lounge Los Mochis in delivering Baja-Nihon energy through all elements, including cocktail, design, and bar bites.
Bar Director Panos Kanatsoulis (formerly of Mr Fox Bar, The Clumsies in Athens, and Zuma Dubai) designed the cocktail menu at Viajante87 with a dedicated mixology lab sprawling across the basement (with only a handful existing in London), it will focus on a zero waste drinks philosophy, cutting-edge cocktail creations and experimental crafting techniques.
The late-night destination will focus on 100% agave-based signature cocktails alongside all the classics. Heading up the Agaveria will be Siri Johansson, (formerly Bungalow 8, OKKU Dubai and Vivir Tequila) and Paolo Silvestri (formerly of LPM London & Dubai, Corrigans, and Hu Tong). Combined with Panos’s 11 years of hands-on experience, the level of skill and expertise displayed in the elevated drinks offering will push the boundaries, with innovative serves including the Frida (La Familia tequila extra anejo, citrus sherbert, chamomile-oregano syrup, rosemary bitters, plum liquor, and champagne), the Cherry Blanco (tequila blanco, sour cherry marmalade, clarified coca-cola), and the Viajante Martini (tequila reposado, bell peppers, fermented mead, green tea sherry).
Viajante87 focuses on showcasing sustainability and zero-waste wherever possible, as such, waste and off-cuts will be repurposed and recycled within the drinks program. The Smoked Earth cocktail represents this, using The Lost Explorer mezcal Espadin, lacto-fermented kitchen veggies (carrots, sweet potato, red cabbage, beetroot, purple corn), jalapeno, sansho berry pepper, coriander seeds, wasabi distillate, fleur de sel.
Taking a cue from sister restaurant Los Mochis, the ‘bar snacks,’ uses seasonal, sustainable products and includes amongst others a trio of crispy rices topped with the likes of spicy salmon, guacamole & fresh truffle, and habanero teriyaki duck; a range of kushiyaki’s, a delectable wagyu sando as well as a chef’s selection of sashimi.
Located down a discreet street, next to Los Mochis, the subterranean enclave features banquettes snaking around the main room with velvet stools hidden in dark, intimate corners. The 1,500sq ft Agaveria-cum-Izakaya will bring a new concept to the West London landscape, where Tokyo meets Tulum, embodying the famed exclusive bars of a bygone era. ‘Viajante’, which translates to ‘explorer,’ will bring to life this Pan-Pacific spirit, taking each guest on a timeless journey, where the cocktails are great, the people are better, and the vibe is high.
Designer Hamilford Design has delivered the same level of attention to the interiors, by sourcing high-quality materials to create a stylish design softened by low mood-lighting, oozing modernised glamour. All eyes will be drawn to a unique hand-carved totem, a 20. ft backlit bar of recycled glass, all surrounded by a feature wall made entirely out of carved cork accented with art pieces by the talented Mexican artist Oms Rocha. A one-of-a-kind mask will serve as the centrepiece of the bar by the acclaimed Mexican artist Tellache, creator of the iconic Los Mochis mural.
Music will play an integral role at Viajante87, where a 2am licence and extensive DJ programme of tribal house beats inspired by global travel will create a cool atmosphere for not only discerning drinkers but also music lovers.
“I feel that West London has been missing something like this, so when the opportunity arose to open a very special cocktail-based hideaway, we leapt at the chance,” said Thesleff. “It has allowed us a new channel for creativity whilst keeping the vibe high and music key. We’ve taken the elements that we know work and applied them to a diverse cocktail offering focused around our Agaveria, opening up the possibilities of what we’re able to do. The way people consume spirits has changed, they want somewhere fun, dark, and sophisticated where they can let loose, this is the perfect antidote.”
Located at Basement 87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ, Viajante87 is open Tuesday thru Thursday from 5pm to 12am and Friday thru Saturday from 5pm to 2am. For more information, head over to the bar’s official website.