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The Aristocrat
Two Welshmen and an Australian Walk into a Bar

December 24, 2023

by Jeffrey R. Sipe

What do you get when two Welshman and an Australian put their heads together in San Miguel de Allende? The answer is The Aristocrat, the bar/restaurant that just  opened on Calle Jesús 27, in the refurbished space that until recently was occupied by Café Luna.  

The first in a number of planned entrepreneurial outings by a trio of long-term SMA residents and men about town – Adrian Garcia-Evans, Paul Ralph and Warren Young – The Aristocrat exudes a welcoming warmth, both literal and figurative. With space heaters strategically placed around the patio, customers stay warm despite the current unexpected chill of early winter in San Miguel while sipping high-end craft cocktails or a reasonably priced national cerveza and enjoying the authentic hospitality of the owners and their top-notch staff.

"For most of us who work in hospitality," Garcia-Evans, a veteran of food and beverage operations stretching from cruise ships on the high seas to Casa Dragones in SMA, said while decompressing at The Aristocrat bar, following a lively full-house in the afternoon and evening, "our dream was to have our own bar, our own restaurant or our own hotel. It's been in my head for 26 years."

Despite 26 years of Garcia-Evans' contemplation, The Aristocrat came to be just three months following initial discussions among the three investors. It took a month to find the right location and then two more months to put it all together and infuse the space with the ethos of The Aristocrat.

"The concept was always going to be tied to the location," Garcia-Evans continued before concluding with a flourish, "We want it to be the beating heart of the Calle Jesus scene."

Adrian Garcia-Evans

Warren Young and Paul Ralph

The Aristocrat's menu is an eclectic mix of plates from around the world prepared by a creative 24-year-old chef who also teaches at the local culinary school. The choices range from the southern US staple, the Po'Boy sandwich, to the increasingly popular fish and chips to tacos and seared octopus. Reasonable price points – fish and chips at 200 pesos, national beers at 45 pesos and mixed drinks also in the 200 peso range – are expected to appeal to a broad swath of the SMA clientele.

"We want to make it clear that The Aristocrat is a great place to come not just for special occasions but as a regular place to meet new friends at price points that will not break the bank," Garcia-Evans said.

The new spot is gearing up for a full-fledged opening in January following their evaluation of the business flow in these early days. The new year will see the addition of live music on specified nights and other, special events. And although the sound will be turned off, at least one TV will be available for major sporting events likely to appeal to the clientele.

The new hotspot is currently open 2-11, Christmas Eve 2-9, New  Year's Eve 2-9, New Year's Day 12-9 and closed on January 2.

Finally, that name: The Aristocrat. If you wonder how they came up with that, pull one of the owners off to the side and ask them about it. You won't be disappointed.


Bar Chain: Asked for a recommendation as to where to go after an evening at The Aristocrat, Garcia-Evans pointed me to La Oficina, just a short distance from The Aristocrat. It's got, he said, "a great collection of the hoi polloi, San Miguel's beautiful people and a broad representation of this small town's population." We will make a visit there for next week's edition of Lokkal.

The Aristocrat, Calle Jesús 27


Jeffrey R. Sipe is a writer/journalist, who, no matter how hard he writes, having grown up in Speedway, Indiana, still can’t get the sounds of race cars rounding Turn 4 out of his head. He has written about the film industry for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Sight and Sound, The Financial Times and other publications. He also once worked as the “boom guy” on a film that nobody saw, but he challenges everyone to see just how long they can hold a metal tube with a microphone attached over their heads.


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