WHAT’S the difference between an accountant and a lawyer? Accountants know they’re boring. Yes, poor old lawyers have long been the brunt of jokes like this. Straight-laced, po-faced, dreary – you name it – the stereotypes stamped on them by comedians revolve around being dull and, for the most part, they’ve stuck like glue.
Just ask British expat Peter Shelford, owner of the trendy el Lugar Bar & Tapas, who – shock, horror! – is also Country Managing Partner for leading global law firm DLA Piper (Thailand).
Located on a side road off Sukhumvit 23, el Lugar occupies two floors of an old shophouse renovated to resemble a modern Spanish Taverna. Polished concrete floors, white-washed walls, bar stools and tall tables, portraits from Spain, and a feature wall painted with large red swirls create an Iberian vibe, while the open kitchen, manned by a Filipino chef, formerly of Parata Diamond, provides plenty of mouth-watering aromas – think Albondigas (Meatballs in tomato sauce. B220); Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic prawns. B200) and Albondigas de Calamari (Squid balls in tomato sauce. B220) – all prepared fresh to order and arriving fragrant and tasty in equal measure.
“We pride ourselves on offering high quality products at great value,” explains Peter. “So for the food we use only the finest ingredients available, and our wines are special too, mainly Latino labels at more than reasonable prices [bottles range from B1,200 to B3,000; wine by the glass is B180].”
Another big draw at el Lugar are its tempting promotions. Among them: Daily Happy Hours, from 5pm-8pm, when all beers are B80 and cocktails B100; a Nightly Tapas Deal, featuring three tapas and one glass of wine for only B399; and a Saturday Filipino Food Buffet, served from Noon-2pm for just B299.
What’s more, the restaurant hosts Ladies’ Night every Wednesday, with free drinks for the Señoritas from 7pm-9pm, and every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7pm-9pm a drink buffet with free tapas is B400. Drop by on Friday and Saturday nights and you can catch live Latino music performed by Fantastico. Even el Lugar’s chef takes to the stage to croon a couple of songs.
“Aside from the promotions, we’re constantly evolving the restaurant and we’re always adding new and seasonal dishes to our menus,” says Peter. “This, for me, is all part of the fun, and I love getting involved in the kitchen, tasting new dishes, greeting guests, and ensuring everyone who visits has a great time.” How's that for a stuffy lawyer.
120/11 Sukhumvit Soi 23. Open daily Noon-3pm; 5pm-midnight
Tel: 02 662 1875 www.ellugartapas.com