Former King Ecgbert pupil Nasir Iqbal is the co-owner of the El Paso restaurant in Cumberland Street at Moorfoot, which is a £250,000 transformation of the old Moorfoot Tavern into a new Mexican/Italian eatery. It was officially opened by Lord Mayor Vickie Priestley. El Paso had been trading successfully in much smaller premises in Cumberland Street for almost 20 years, and its expansion was spurred by the regeneration of The Moor. Nasir Iqbal, who studied consumer marketing at Manchester University, is single and lives in Ecclesall.
The change in the fortunes of The Moor since the opening of the Moor Market couldn’t be more pronounced. We traded for years with virtually no footfall at all. It’s not surprising so many businesses went to the wall. We’ve now gone from seeing nobody to seeing thousands of people every week. It’s brilliant. For the first time since Meadowhall the city centre is starting to fight back. And things can only get better with the rest of the multi-million pound regeneration plans to follow. It’s great to be a part of such an exciting chapter for Sheffield.
a slice of Mexico
Many people have asked why a man of Asian descent came to be running a Mexican/Italian restaurant. It’s a fair question. Well it all started when I was on holiday in Mexico when I was 18. We stumbled on a restaurant that the locals frequented miles away from the tourist traps. I fell in love with its rustic charm, the amazing food and the party atmosphere. That trip was the inspiration for the original El Paso. I decided I wanted to create something similar in Sheffield and I set up the restaurant with Sergio Arenas.
Rajput on Commonside
I’m a big fan of Rajput Restaurant on Commonside in Walkley. The family-run Indian has grown from a takeaway to full blown restaurant since it originally opened in 1985. It’s a nice food, cooked to order, in an intimate atmosphere.
Son Para Todos
Sheffield is renowned for the quality and variety of its home-grown talent and they don’t come much better than this lot. Though you’re unlikely to find them performing at the Academy or Leadmill, the five-piece Latino outfit are a big hit with customers at El Paso and other local eateries they perform in. With members originating from Mexico, Ecuador and the UK, there’s no better band to instil the party atmosphere than Son Para Todos!
Hole In The Road
Though I’m biased when I say I prefer the market being on The Moor, it’s not that I don’t have fond memories of the weekly shopping trip to Castle Market with my mum and dad and the long trip home carrying loads of shopping bags. Every Saturday it was the same trip! But the one thing that always sticks in my mind was the Hole In The Road. I always had a fondness for Castle Square with its fish tank, underground shops and escalators.
SUFC and SWFC
I’m a big follower of football and though there’s the big rivalry, I still think it’s fantastic we’re a city of two great teams with great attendance - normally far bigger than comparable clubs in the same league. I’ve been to matches at both grounds and we regularly get a lot of players at El Paso.
Sheffield as a place to eat
The city’s restaurant offer has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. There are so many options in so many different areas. Sheffield really does have some outstanding restaurants and great food doesn’t have to be fine dining. I regularly recommend to visitors the eateries in the city centre, the variety on London Road or the mix on offer in Crookes and other suburbs.