Camino to open cava bar in London22nd February, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Richard Bigg, owner of Spanish restaurant group Camino, is to open London’s “first authentic dedicated cava bar” in St Paul’s in May.
The bar will be housed within Camino San Pablo – Camino’s soon-to-open fourth site – between St Paul’s and Blackfriars.
The news follows an announcement from Spanish restaurant Aqua Nueva that it is to open “London’s largest cava bar” at its Oxford Circus restaurant next month.
Bigg has been planning a cava bar for years, and considered it for his first Camino site in King’s Cross, though decided to open a dedicated Sherry bar, Bar Pepito, instead.
Rather than linking directly with a brand as he did with González Byass at Bar Pepito, the cava bar will offer a democratic selection from a number of different houses.
“We talked to a few houses but in the end decided hooking up with one cava producer wasn’t the right approach,” Bigg told db.
“You don’t get the quality across the board with cava as you do with Sherry, and we wanted to focus on quality while still making it affordable for customers.
“At the bulk end, there are some cheap and nasty cavas out there that are giving the category a bad name, so we’re keen to change people’s perceptions,” he added.
Bigg is unable to reveal details of any of the cavas on the bar’s list, but says there will be a range of styles and a price arc to suit different budgets.
While Prosecco sales are flying in both the on and off-trade in the UK, Bigg believes cava delivers more in terms of depth of flavour.
“Prosecco is great but it’s quite simple. I think cava offers a lot more complexity.
“The general quality is improving all the time, and there are a range of styles and a number of different grape varieties to play with,” Bigg said.
The bar provides an opportunity to get consumers excited about the cava category in the same way Bar Pepito did for Sherry when it opened in 2010, spawning a number of dedicated Sherry bars in the capital such as Capote y Toros and Rosita.
This month, Bigg secured £3m funding from the Business Growth Fund, which will allow him to expand his Camino concept to incorporate further sites.
The plan is to open seven new Camino restaurants in the UK by 2015.