Three tacos on a plate with a hand pouring a sauce on top.

All you need to know about Cheeky Chicos at Elephant Park

We spoke to new arrival Cheeky Chicos to find out what brought them to Elephant Park. This is what they told us.

Food and drink
  • 29 July 2022
Tell us about Cheeky Chicos and how it started

In January 2015, I came back from holiday to my office near Blackfriars station, looking forward to lunch at my usual local Mexican haunt, Picante Mexican Grill, only to find a sign on the door saying they were looking for investors to restart the business. Within 2 weeks, my friend Ray and I were 50/50 partners in a Mexican restaurant re-branded as Cheeky Chicos.

We brought in Kasparas to manage the restaurant, and he invested alongside us in our second location and became a third owner of the business. Our new locations are being funded out of the business without taking on any additional equity partners – so it’s still just the three of us as partners – and we intend to keep it a private independent business.

 

What type of dishes and drinks can you find on the Cheeky Chicos menu?

The Cheeky Chicos menu is mostly designed around tacos, which allows you to see all the beautiful ingredients - they’re presented open face and are fun to eat with your hands. The concept is Cheeky Mexican Fusion, blending Asian, American, and British foods with Mexican flavours and styles (such as fish and chip tacos, or fried chicken and truffle mac tacos), along with some very authentic Mexican dishes as well (barbacoa short rib tacos). We also have a selection of other small plates and snacks designed to be shared tapas style.

In terms of drinks, the Margarita rules the roost, but our bartenders are quite skilled in mixology and can do anything from a Negroni to an Espresso Martini. We have a list of speciality cocktails if you’re looking to try something new and different, like the Summer Child (cachaca honey, lime, hibiscus, elderflower, ginger, cucumber) or the La Vida Rosa (bourbon, velvet falernum, amaro, rose).

 

How do your sustainability goals tie in with Elephant Park?

We aim for zero waste and make the best use of fresh food, so our guests always eat the best – which means we occasionally run out of popular items, but we’d rather do that than waste precious food. Anything we can’t use is donated to local food charities to support the community.

We incorporate plants into our design and décor to create a natural, almost tropical, feel to the restaurant, with concertina doors opening up to connect the bar area with the outdoor space of Elephant Park for a seamless indoor/outdoor connected dining experience (weather permitting!).

We’re trying to hire as many local staff as possible, both to support the community and to cut down on emissions from commuting.

 

Give us three reasons why we should visit Cheeky Chicos
  1. It’s a fun place to hang out with friends, where you can nibble and chat over a few cocktails.
  2. The TACOS… flavours you won’t get anywhere else.
  3. The MARGARITAS… best in London, hands down, and very reasonable – especially during happy hour!

 

What do you think of Elephant Park?

We love it! Or we wouldn’t be opening up here. We love the integration with the outdoor spaces in particular – outdoor seating has been very much key to our model and the integration of the park, and the restaurant was a big appeal. Also, most of the restaurants are independent businesses with just a few locations, so we’ve had great chats with the other owners who speak very highly of the development.

 

How helpful were the Lendlease and Elephant Park teams in helping you get set up?

So far so good, and we look forward to continuing this as we get closer to opening day. 

 

Why did you choose to open a new store in Elephant & Castle?

It’s an area we’ve known for a long time and, while there’s obviously the development here, we understand there’s still a vibrant Latino community in the wider area, so that’s appealing to us as a Mexican-themed restaurant.

 

Will you be employing local people?

Yes, as many as we can!

 

How would you describe Elephant & Castle in three words?

On the up.

 

What is your favourite thing about this part of London?

It’s Zone 1 and close and convenient, but feels like its own distinct neighbourhood.

 

What do you think about the local community?

We really embrace the Latino community, which is still predominant in the area.