Name: Ignacio Arrieta
Organization/Business: La Mezcaleria
What do you do and how did you get here?
11 years ago, I came to Vancouver from Chihuahua with a bunch of friends. Eventually, they all went home and I was the only one who stayed. I worked wherever I could – coffee shops and other random jobs until I achieved permanent resident status and it was then that I met up with my business partners to open our first restuarant – La Taqueria. 4 years ago, we decide to create an additional brand – La Mezcaleria – and opened up that restaurant on Commercial Drive. We’ve been here in Gastown now for a year with the newest location of La Mezcaleria.
What inspired the name and the concept?
The name references the region where mezcal is made – most is made in Oaxaca. Mezcal is a spirit distilled from mash made out of the steamed hearts of various species of agaves. The word mezcal comes from the Aztec language, the Nahuatl, and means “cooked agave”. The restaurant concept is inspired by the cantinas also found in the state of Oaxaca.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
I would walk through Gastown with a coffee. I like to walk here to work on East Cordova as often as I can. I would visit my friends at Victory Barbers, Strike Movement and my landlord over at Nicli’s Pizzeria.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
I really like the diversity found here in Gastown. You can meet lots of interesting people doing cool things in art, fashion, food and technology.
What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Gastown?
It was our opening party. It was a wonderful night filled with tons of great people, food, drink and celebrating. Many of my neighbours came to welcome us into the community.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
Having balance. Try to be happy as often as you can. Be grateful for the little things in life.