Click here for ADA Accessibility Information

Richard Ampudia

Lolo's Surf Cantina

Born in Mexico City. Richard Ampudia moved to New York in 1987 to study film in NYU. In 1992 He was hired by Keith Mc Nally as a Bartender later to become Maitre D’ & GM. It was in this hip SOHO restaurant “Lucky Strike” where Richard realized after 6 years of working there that his true passion was in hospitality, not film. Keith McNally became a mentor, a friend and a demanding boss that taught him the importance of understanding that as a restaurateur, you have to convey the story to your guests the moment they step into the restaurant, every detail is important and every employee’s opinion matters regardless of their standing in the restaurant hierarchy. In 1993 he opened a simple Mexican restaurant in the then unknown neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The place was called Vera Cruz and became the hang out for the growing community of artists and bohemians that lived there during the 90’s. This restaurant became a linchpin for the development that would make Williamsburg the hippest coolest neighborhood in Brooklyn. In 1998 he left his position at Lucky Strike to open another small Mexican Restaurant in an old diner on Elizabeth Street this restaurant was called Café Habana and became an overnight sensation that ignited a whole new neighborhood development in NY that would later be known as NOLITA. It also became the place where the “grilled corn” took over every menu he would ever work on. In 2005 he partnered up with Serge Becker to design the space and create the menu for another groundbreaking Mexican Restaurant “La Esquina”. The place was a smashing success and ignited an incredible interest not only in Mexican food but also on the art and hip culture of Mexico City. In 2006 he moved to Mexico City to work for Contramar, (the best seafood restaurant in the city) as Director of Operations for this restaurant group. In 2008 he was hired by Culinary Concepts by Jean Georges to help spearhead their expansion to Mexico and Latin America. In charge of the development and build out of the restaurants in the St Regis Hotels, as well as Jean Georges restaurant “Market” in the super exclusive resort of “One and Only Palmilla”. Richard Ampudia owns and operates Bar Bruno in Brooklyn, NYC and is opening Lolo’s Surf Cantina in Miami in the fall of 2017 along with Japanese Food and Beverage Company Plan Do See. Since 2007 Richard Ampudia has worked as an independent consultant developing Modern Mexican Restaurants in Europe, Asia and different areas of the US amongst them: Bar Bruno Brooklyn NYC La Condesa (Austin, Tx) Pink Taco Café Habana Malibu Bodega Negra (London) Socialito (Hong Kong) Touche Hombre (Sydney) The Luigans Hotel (Fukuoka)