Talented Bournemouth – Ojo Rojo
Bournemouth is filled with talented entrepreneurs, artists and musicians, honestly, there’s loads of them! Once a month Lotus Photography dedicates a blog to highlight one of these amazing people.
This month Lotus Photography is focusing on one of the most distinct restaurants in the area; Ojo Rojo offers a fantastic range of authentic Mexican dishes, and I was invited along to their Live Music night.
Ojo Rojo‘s manager Trevor, was ready to give me all the inside gossip
The idea behind Ojo Rojo came when you were travelling in Mexico, what’s your favourite memory of your time travelling there?
Wow. I don’t know if I can answer that with just one example. lol. The freedom, the food, the people? It was such a special time in my life where it seemed all eventualities were possible. I suppose my favourite memories would be the diving. I worked as a dive master throughout my time away in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala and the tranquillity is unparalleled when you are under the water, gliding alongside a turtle, eagle ray, bull shark or whale shark. It really was like nothing else.
Ojo Rojo translates to “Red Eye” describing the effects of too much spicy food, the morning after a good night out, as well as describing someone who lives life to the fullest. Any tales you’d like to share about you living Ojo Rojo?
Ha. I have always been a ‘yes-man’. It has got me in both trouble and adventures. It has led me to do some of the amazing things and see things that I feel privileged to have been able to see. As for late nights and bleary mornings… well, that’s pretty much my life now. haha. But the saying that I adopted from a group of friends in Mexico as the name for our venue really resonated when I heard it and kind of just stuck when we were discussing the project.
The restaurant has such an amazing distinctive style, any particular pieces you love the most?
The floor downstairs is my favourite feature and one that is often overlooked by those who come in. There was a long debate as to whether it was possible but in the end our tiler really came through and created something that is natural looking and beautiful. The way he managed to cut the parquet flooring into the hexagon tiles and then join the hexagon tiles into the front of the bar is a beautiful addition as you want in to the venue.
What’s your favourite thing on the menu?
I will avoid the obvious choice of the nachos and go with the Pork Belly tacos that are served with crackling and pomegranate and the House Greens which are sauteéd with chestnuts, almonds and orange zest. They are sublime.
I should say right here, that the greens are AMAZING! I devoured the whole plate!
As well as amazing food, you guys serve a mean cocktail, which would you recommend for a true Ojo Rojo experience?
At the moment we are involved in a nationwide cocktail competition with Ocho Tequila. Our Bar Manager, Gemma Terry, has created a beautiful cocktail for the competition and we are currently doing well. Every vote counts though and a vote can be made by buying the cocktail, posting on Instagram and tagging the relevant accounts (given out with the drink). We are very proud of it and urge people to help us win the comp so we can send Gemma to Mexico for Day of the Dead for more research for features of Ojo Rojo.
I have a confession; it was actually my birthday when you guys first opened your doors, so I was one of your first customers as I had my birthday bash here. How does it feel looking back over the past 2 and a half years?
Wow. yeah. I am in awe every day. It has been a roller coaster of a ride over the past couple of years and I’m sure there is still a fair amount of exciting and challenging times ahead. But we at Ojo Rojo strive to enjoy what we do and to put the passion in the products and experience we offer. I feel like a proud father sometimes when I see efficient staff, a venue that has taken on its own personality and customers that tell me how impressed they are. It can be surreal but it never fails to move me.
The last Thursday night of every month, Ojo Rojo host an amazing live music night, who should we check out?
Our resident band is Jon Cotton and friends. He does latino inspired twists on modern classics and a few authentic numbers too. He really fits the venue and that night is always busy. Moving forward we plan to start doing live music every Thursday. I just need to find acts that suit what I am looking for for our brand. So watch this space!
How has photography influenced your business?
Massively. Our brand documents that we have put together are heavily armed with photography techniques and desires that we wish to use to represent us.
What’s your motto in life?
I don’t know if it is a motto as such, but I believe that too many people hold their happiness hostage for that which is out of their control. I believe that if you base your happiness no what you can control: who you are, how you behave and how you represent your passions, then happiness will follow you wherever you go. It is a dangerous series of words to say: “I’ll be happy when…”. Rather say; “I want to be kind and honest. If I am then I am happy”. Then just be kind and honest!
Interested in being featured? Know someone you think should be featured? Drop me an email!