Anyone for a tequila? Inside Sunderland’s new Mexican restaurant

A new city centre restaurant has got Mexican food all wrapped up.

After months of preparation, El Nido is set to open its doors on Tuesday night in Frederick Street.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.'From left owner Stephen Turnbull and manager Andy Malone

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.'From left owner Stephen Turnbull and manager Andy Malone

Meaning the nest, El Nido has taken over a basement site in one of the street’s period town houses, which was previously Paprika and An-Athene restaurants.

More recently it housed a training centre before owner Stephen Turnbull got the keys and began transforming it into a new restaurant, specialising in Mexican street food and Tequila and Mezcal-based cocktails.

The decor features tiles sourced from Mexico, masks, feature neon signage and a graffiti mural painted by Stephen. He said: “When we first got the keys it was all bright yellow inside so we had to completely strip it back and build a new bar.

“It’s taken a few months but we didn’t want to rush it.”

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Speaking about why he was inspired by Central America for his new venture, Stephen said: “Me and my business partner had been looking to open a restaurant for a while, we’d considered a pizza restaurant, but one of my friends had just returned from Mexico and suggested a Mexican restaurant. I’m a big fan of Mexican food myself and we thought it would bring something different to the area. We’ve tried to keep the food as traditional as possible.

“A lot of money was spent on Sunniside when it first opened, then it went a bit quiet, but things are starting to happen in this area of the city centre, it’s picking up.”

Food available on the new menu will include tostadas, tacos, fish dishes and more, which will be served at lunch and evening times, with a late night license on Friday and Saturday.

El Nido, which has created five jobs, is the latest new restaurant for the city with plans in place for a venture at the derelict Thai Manor round the corner.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

On the other side of the city, the Engine Room has opened in the Fire Station development with another Mexican restaurant, Mexico 70, due to open in the former Chapmans jewellers site opposite.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.'Manager Andy Malone

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.'Manager Andy Malone

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.

Frederick Street new Mexican restaurant, El Nido.