Nick Jonas is known for dominating the music world, while his friend John Varvatos is an icon in the fashion industry. So when you collaborate on an idea together, you know it’s going to be exciting. And while the duo have already launched a fragrance and tequila brand together, they are now venturing into hospitality by opening a tequila-focused Mexican restaurant in San Diego this spring called Villa One Tequila Gardens.
The rooftop bar, restaurant and nightlife destination will feature more than 160 tequilas and mezcals and modern Mexican food with stunning views from the rooftop of Theater Box in the Gaslamp Quarter. “Villa One Tequila Gardens was formed as an oasis destination where one can relax and experience Tulum’s ultimate after-work or weekend getaway right in the heart of San Diego,” said Jonas.
Speaking of creating a Tulum getaway in the heart of SoCal, I was able to chat with Jonas and Varvatos about the inspiration behind the space and the role their travels to Mexico played in starting the space.
Why San Diego for the first restaurant?
Nick Jonas: I have so many good memories in San Diego and obviously it feels like the perfect place: the sunsets there, the atmosphere, the people. It will be an incredible experience at Villa One Tequila Gardens.
John Varvatos: Villa One’s Tequila Gardens are open-air, rooftop spaces for the most part. The location in San Diego is absolutely magical. It has incredible views and magical nights, and the cool atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter made it the perfect spot.
What was the inspiration behind the design and menu?
New Jersey: I think the design was inspired by many things. John and I worked very hard on the aesthetic of Villa One as a complete tequila brand based on our love of Mexican elements and paying homage to the heritage there in the tequila and agave farms. So we wanted to give it some of that flavor. But also, with a bit of entertainment. We both love to put on the show, and this was a perfect place for that.
joint venture: Nick and I wanted to enjoy our trips to Mexico. The idea is to make the menu as tasty and special as possible and create an experience for diners. As they say, “God is in the details”, which is our focus with Tequila Gardens.
What inspiration did you take from your travels to create this space?
New Jersey: I think the inspiration I take from my travels is really about keeping your eyes wide open to everything around you and finding inspiration in every little detail, everything you see, everyone you meet. I have been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places and had the opportunity to meet amazing people who have inspired me and helped me grow as an artist and creator.
joint venture: Lots of natural finishes, handcrafted details, and at the same time adding modern touches that make this an electric space.
What have you learned about Mexican culture by creating this brand of tequila?
New Jersey: What I learned from working with Arturo Fuentes, who is our amazing master distiller, is just about the artistic way of making tequila and how far back it goes, and the attention to detail, which is something John and I care about. a lot about So, it was great to think about that while he was designing Tequila Gardens.
joint venture: There is a great sense of pride in quality and expertise. Our master distiller, Arturo Fuentes, is all about perfection!
What is your most memorable experience in Mexico?
New Jersey: We had so many shows that were out of this world, but on our most recent tour there, we were able to go and play a couple of nights in Mexico City and film it for our concert film, which was a lot of fun. The fans did it for us and it was one of the most memorable experiences of the tour.
joint venture: The night that Nick and I, with family and friends, celebrated the birth of Villa One. It was a truly magical evening ending with Nick’s now famous toast celebrating “Life as it should be”.
What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
New Jersey: I went to Greece a few years ago and had an amazing time there. We went to Crete, and I had never been before. Just the food, the views, the water, everything was magical.
joint venture: A couple of years ago, I took my family to Venice, Rome, Athens and the Greek islands. It was such an amazing trip with so much history, beauty and the best food on the planet!