The term "speakeasy" conjures up images of gangsters and bootleg gin in 1920s Chicago, but a 21st-century speakeasy is lighting up the entertainment scene in Tijuana, Mexico with some help from Beverage-Air, Champion and Amana/Menumaster.
Upscale food and drink is the hallmark of the 90-seat Oryx Capital restaurant in Tijuana, where Chef Ruffo Ibarra creates culinary delights. But the thing that makes Oryx Capital truly unusual is found at the end of a dark hall near the back of the restaurant. There, behind a secret door, is Nortico- a modern take on the classic speakeasy.
The hideaway seats just 34 and is decorated with black-and-white photos of gangsters and bootleggers. This stylish and cozy bar serves a mixture of cocktails from the past and inspired new creations using artisanal ingredients and spirits. To keep their ingredients at perfect temperature, Nortico and Oryx Capital rely on Ali Group companies. The Oryx Capital bar uses a Beverage-Air direct draw beer refrigerator to dispense perfectly chilled beer and back bar glass door refrigerators for convenient storage of chilled product.
Also, behind the bar is an efficient, versatile and quiet Champion undercounter dishwasher, which can clean lots of glasses on those hot Tijuana days when the bar is moving lots of beer and cocktails. The restaurant kitchen also has a Beverage-Air refrigerated cook stand, a prep table, several reach-in refrigerators and freezers, as well as microwaves from Amana/Menumaster.
With their compact footprints, undercounter and back bar refrigerators from Beverage-Air help maximize every inch of space behind the Nortico speakeasy, to keep everything clean, there is a Champion dish machine in the dish room as well.
Javier Esparza of Cocinas Institucionales, S.A. de C.V. in Tijuana was instrumental in placing the equipment at Oryx Capital and Nortico, which are now on the forefront of the exciting culinary scene in Tijuana. Esparza calls this a "big moment" the city is experiencing. "Oryx Capital is one of those projects that really stepped it up," he says. "Chef Ruffo's commitment to quality is what's drawing more and more customers into the restaurant and bar. He is always serving the best, and the results are amazing."