update Feb 2018: El Sotano have ceased trading.

El Sotano is now open at 85 Watergate street, with the independent Spanish restaurant taking over the premises formerly occupied by the Mockingbird Taproom and the Fat Cat. We attended a preview night and chatted to manager Roger Davies over some cheese, black pudding tapas wine and Spanish dancing.

Welcome to El Sotano

“What we are trying to do is a really authentic Spanish Bodega here in Chester, with great wine, great tapas and great atmosphere.” says Roger who has worked in the catering industry for many years, including working alongside owner Roland Thomas at his St Asaph based catering firm.


“”I think competition is healthy” Roger comments regarding the city’s restaurant boom over the last couple of years including the much hyped dining quarter. In contrast to the nearby chains he says that  “the fact that there are more independent restaurants opening is a brilliant thing and that’s what we are. We are after a relaxed atmosphere and that’s really key for us.

“Everybody that we have on board is really passionate about what we are trying to do. The chef is fantastic, he’s from Malaga, he loves the food, everyone is buying into it ”

El Sotano will trade from 10.30am until midnight, seven days a week with a menu that is refreshed weekly. The lunchtime menu will include open Spanish sandwiches moving into meat/fish tapas and paella for the afternoon and evening menu.

“Our business plan is not based on Chester races, but its a bonus. What we are planning on doing is getting the opening weekend out of the way and then we’ll sit down and get some race day packages put together. We are thinking of an all day package, with champagne breakfast and you keep the table for most of the day .”

.Good luck to El Sotano !

for more info visit  : http://elsotano.co.uk/





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