-Story by Sean McIntyre Photography by Lia Crowe
There’s no mistaking Stephen Quigley when you walk into Chorizo & Co. He stands tall behind the bar, sporting a big smile and a welcoming wave, beckoning passersby along Fort Street to settle in.
Although it was once a deli catering to Victorians searching for a slice of Spanish flavour, Stephen and business partner Dave Brooks joined forces to resurrect the quaint downtown locale as a bonafide Iberian eatery and cocktail bar.
“We were both fans of the old delicatessen and, as an homage, we’ve kept the name and the Spanish influence and introduced phase two of Chorizo & Co.,” Stephen says. “We brought the tables higher, took out the large deli counter, painted the walls darker and made it more of an evening focus. We had no interest in running a deli, but we are interested in a great bar/restaurant, and that’s what we’ve aimed for here.”
Classics such as the Chorizo sandwich share the menu with a unique house paella, seared rockfish and bavette steak.
The menu offers a mix of small plates, sandwiches and larger meals, all of which can be savoured alone or shared with a crowd alongside beverages from an inspiring list. Signature cocktails and wines provide a deep dive into the subtleties of Spain’s Tempranillo varietal.
“A lot of people might think ‘How good could a sandwich be?’ but, based on the feedback we’re getting, people are getting blown away,” Dave says.
“We’re not just tapas. Some of the things could be considered tapas but, at the end of the day, it’s just a food menu that has a Spanish influence; a menu that has a bunch of really delicious things. Whether you want tapas or share plates or a full entrée, that’s totally up to you.”
Stephen and Dave bring nearly two decades of experience from Stage Wine Bar to Victoria’s rapidly changing culinary scene. The city, they say, is barely recognizable from the place it was only a decade ago. Restaurants have played a huge role in the downtown core’s revitalization.
Whether it’s sampling happy hour or making an evening of it, Chorizo & Co. combines great personalities and awesome flavours to complement a vibrant and creative restaurant scene.
“It’s not an overexposed style of dining, but it is more and more the way people like to dine,” Stephen says.
“Because there are so many places around Victoria, popping in here and having a glass of wine with a small plate, and then going somewhere else is accomplishable. It’s a way to make an evening and taste a bit of the city.”
Chorizo & Co. is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 11 pm. Check them out on Instagram and Facebook for updates and menu specials.
Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication
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