Nicholas Goodchild

Historic and Pared Down


21 May 2012 by Nicholas in Current Events

When I was young there was a Mexican restaurant on Oak Lane called the Cocina. It was a Mexican place with Aztec and South American stylings. I went once with my parents and I can’t remember a single thing about it, but I assume it wasn’t particularly good or to our tastes as we never went again.

At some point it relocated to Manningham Lane, next to where Woods used to be. I am not completely sure when this happened, due to a lack of interest and probably not being in the city at the time. It seemingly kept the old décor. At some point it changed its name to “El Mexicana Cocina” and started on a path of being an abject lesson in how not to run a restaurant.

The new branding appeared something of a horrific mishmash: a cheap new sign featuring (I think) a kidney bean in a sombrero and some cack handed script. And it was clumsily thrown over the existing logo and colour scheme, leaving everything else unchanged but in glaring contrast.

From what I understand the token iconic character was the only attempt to make the place more welcoming to children and families. On the one hand you have something that will scare away serious eaters and looks tacky and cheap, on the other you have something that could only appeal to small children and their families yet isn’t actually implemented in any other place or indicative of the establishment as a whole. It makes those “under new management” signs you see on soon to go out of business pubs look like the pinnacle of advertising.

The restaurant site had some problems to begin with, some of which were of the management’s own making and some which weren’t: that side of Bradford is failing more than most (which is saying something) with pubs shutting and the large nightclub venue closing. There was no real parking, which limited the clientèle it could attract. Arguably the local demographic wasn’t suited to that kind of restaurant. The restaurant always looked dingy and uninviting to me. This was made worse by the aforementioned sign, which made it look dingy, ridiculous and cheap (not in a value way).

Recently it closed. It was hard to tell from the appearance, it had looked run down for a while. A sign has gone up advertising the premises for rent and there is a notice stating that the landlord has evicted the tenants. Just another large, empty premises in Bradford partially a result of the economy, largely the city at large but in no small part because of mismanagement and poor decisions. Somewhere else I wouldn’t have eaten anyway where I will never get chance to buy from.