This is Gabriela Lozada, manager of Brujas in Mexico City.
Gabriela started to work in hospitality as a barista when she was 17 years old. With time, she needed to earn more money and applied to work in a bar. She got in as a waitress, but it was a very crowded bar and Gabriela never liked when people invade her personal space. Her shifts would often end at the police station because customers kept on invading her personal space. Eventually her boss took her aside and told her that she was really good, but maybe not with people so close, so he offered her to work behind the bar instead. It was an instant fit. After that she went to work in the Mexican Caribbean, at a 20 seats restaurant that exclusively served 20 catch of the day prepared differently each day. The French chef that owned the place taught her how to make cocktails, and how to do pairings. Given that Gabriela is an industrial designer, then and there she fell in love with building and designing cocktails. When she moved back to Mexico City, she worked at some of the city’s most famous venues including award-winning Hanky Panky and Pujol, until she was offered to take on the opening project of Brujas, which she obviously did and continues to succeed doing to this day.
- Having an all women bar team was your idea from the very beginning of Brujas and you referred to it as a silent protest. Can you tell us a little bit more about what it means to you? “For me, having a 100% women bar team is very important. It’s not that we are yelling to everyone that we are just women here, it’s more of a silent protest to today’s industry that is mainly ruled by men. When you are a woman and you try to apply to bartending positions, you are often rejected because you are just a woman, or because you don’t look like a woman should look. So this bar to me is like a silent protest because sometimes even people don’t realize that we are all women, and when they do, they start having a lot of questions, they wonder how we can carry heavy ice bags ourselves, and things like that.”
- What makes Brujas special to you? “What makes it special is that normally cocktail bars are a little bit fancier. I mean, Brujas is fancy inside, but the vibe is not. You know, in most of the cocktail bars you would go to order signature cocktails, whereas here you can come for a beer or a michelada is it’s all the same for us. If you go to a cocktail bar here to order a rum and coke, most bartenders will talk you out of it. Here it’s very 360 degrees, very full rounded and the offers her can fit anyone. It doesn’t matter if you drink cocktails or not, you will find something here. We are a lot of a neighbourhood bar.”