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The soul of Buenos Aires in Leicester

A stunning Argentinian Bar is set to open soon and aims to bring the “soul of Buenos Aires to the hearts of Leicester”.

Situated at the crossroads of the Cathedral Quarter and The Lanes, owner Jabbar Khan is bringing to life an iconic Grade II-listed building that sees heavy, daily footfall past it’s facade. The bar, named Sonrisa, was created by Khan, who is a multi-award winning restauranteur from Birmingham. In 2009, Jabbar won Gordon Ramsey’s F Word with his Lasan Indian Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, being crowned Best Local Restaurant in Birmingham. Since this big win, he has become known as one of the industry’s most accomplished and influential operators, running a selection of other renowned restaurants and bars, including an Argentinian steak house, and a Portuguese-Indian restaurant, named Estado Da India.

Sonrisa Interior – Image Credit: FU Media

Now, turning his gaze further afield, Jabbar Khan said; “We are thrilled to launch Sonrisa into Leicester. In Buenos Aires, ‘Buena Onda’ refers to good food, good times and good company. It’s a catch-all phrase for anything that puts a Sonrisa (smile) on your face, and we can’t think of anything that makes people smile more than ‘buenos aires’ (good air), delicious food and fine wine.  

“We know from experience that Leicester is a city of many cultures and cuisines, and we hope to build on that premier league reputation for sensational food and give you plenty of reasons to smile from the inside out.

“There’s something special about Latin dishes and delights that tempt, tease and leave you hungry for more.  Arrive early for a light, lingering lunch, a delicious coffee perk-up, or stay late into the night, grazing on the colourful sights, musical sounds, small plate delectables or large sharing plates. This is Comida Argentina done right.  

“There’s no other city like Buenos Aires. Between its ability to breathe life and fire into its culture and its chic neighbourhoods like Palermo Soho and San Telmo, Buenos Aires has a way of winning over people’s hearts. So, we created Sonrisa, a modern café-bar haunt that makes the perfect spot for social gatherings — Buenos Aires-style. Kick back with a cocktail, meet friends old and new, or order a strong cup of coffee. We promise you won’t ever want to leave. 

Eat some delicious food or drink some wine. Sway to the intoxicating music that dances out of the bar and spills into the busy street. At Sonrisa, friends old and new gather to raise a glass. So go on — grab a friend, grab a drink, and stay as long as you like”.

Sonrisa is in a Grade II listed building on the crossroads of the Cathedral District and The Lanes – Image Credit: FU Media

Prior to Sonrisa taking root, it was the fine foods deli Delilah. And originally, this building was the Leicester Savings Bank. It boasts some incredible architecture, making for an attractive and well placed location for a night out with a different flavour. The bar features an open kitchen to help lure those hungry customers in and delight visitors with the smells of Argentinian cuisine. 

As a special opening treat, Sonrisa is launching with a month-long 50% off dining offer. Register for this deal at 


By Sam Ellison

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