El Vez:
Rockwell Group

El Vez 1629

The design concept for El Vez is influenced by different facets of Mexican and Mexican-American culture, including authentic design and craft, the Western frontier, and popularity of taco trucks. Located on Vesey Street near the Goldman Sachs tower, the restaurant is organised into five distinct dining experiences.

El Vez 1632

Highlights of the design by Rockwell Group are that before entering El Vez, guests are greeted by a playful storefront fitted with metal screens that are a nod to the traditional Papel Picado (decorative perforated paper) used during special occasions in Mexico. Complementing the screens, the storefront is draped with hand macramé window treatments by artist Sally England. The windows create intrigue as to what may be behind this frontage.

El Vez 1700

Located inside the entrance, the bar area reveals influences of the Wild West and Dia de los Mertos (Day of the Dead). The main design element is a custom 16-seat bar that features antiqued and weathered red millwork with joinery and finishes that reveal the maker’s hand. Metal longhorn decorations are positioned on the top edge of the back bar. The rose-hued crushed velvet lined cabinets at each end of the back bar have the feeling of local shrines filled with candles, papier mâché skulls, dolls and other objects. Bar seating is comprised of custom stools with antique painted finishes in blue and green. A vintage chandelier flanked by an oversized fan on each side help define the bar area. Custom high-top tables with wrought iron bases and rusticated wooden tops are surrounded by vintage metal and wooden stools.

El Vez 1703

The quick serve and “garage” dining areas are located to the left of the entrance. Inspired by an auto body shop, the garage area has an industrial, DIY aesthetic. The back wall features a hand painted mural on glass by James Comey, who is also creating site-specific paintings for the restaurant’s bathrooms. The wall to the left of the mural is hand painted with a black and white tool motif. The wall to the right is comprised of cinder blocks that have been covered by weathered vintage Mexican movie posters. Brightly hued wood tables and metal chairs provide a pop of colour to the neutral walls and floor.

El Vez 1706
The main dining area is designed to create the feeling of dining on a casual outdoor patio. The walls are painted in a natural cream shade and red terracotta tiles cover the floor. Festoon outdoor market lights and large barn pendant lights suspended from ceiling beams create a warm and festive atmosphere. Custom booths are based on vintage car bucket seats and are upholstered in brightly coloured fabrics. Dining tables are designed to look like antique metal sign remnants.
The private dining room features plaster stucco walls and custom slump glass pendants with exposed filament bulbs. An outdoor dining area with oversized planters to separate seating groups provides additional seating options for guests.
Images © Oleg March

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