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28th April, 2021 by Nicola Carruthers
Tomas Estes, the co-founder of Tequila Ocho and London’s Café Pacifico, has died.
In a Facebook post yesterday (27 April), Tequila Ocho announced that Estes died peacefully in his sleep last Sunday (25 April). He was surrounded by his family in southern Oregon, the post said.
According to his Linkedin page, Estes grew up in the east side of Los Angeles, California. He headed to Amsterdam to open a Mexican restaurant and bar in 1976, said to be the first of its kind in Europe.
During his lifetime, Estes started 17 Mexican restaurants with bars in six countries, including England and France. He is behind venues such as Café Pacifico in Covent Garden, London, and the city’s now closed El Nivel and La Perla sites.
Café Pacifico opened in 1982 as the first Mexican cantina of its kind in the UK.
In 2008, Estes co-founded Tequila Ocho, a single estate brand now sold in more than 20 countries. The brand was the result of a collaboration between Estes and the Camarena family, who produce Tequila Tapatio.
Estes was named an official ambassador for the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (CNIT) in 2003 for his work on promoting Tequila across the world. He also penned a book, The Tequila Ambassador, which was nominated for Best New Book at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2013.
Tequila Ocho is calling on those who knew him to share their memories of Estes. “If you wish to commemorate Tomas’s life by posting your favourite photo(s) or stories of him, please use the hashtag #RememberingTomas so that we can see and share your memories,” the Facebook post said.