Chefs Jasper Alivia and Jesus Garcia and restaurant manager Alejandro Fuentes are joining forces for a modern Mexican restaurant and bar in Port Richmond, on the corner of Thompson and Ann streets. The three friends, who know each other from Philly’s restaurant scene, hope to be ready to start serving tacos, guacamole, and margaritas in early December.
Alivia, who was born in the Philippines, is best known for working under Guillermo Pernot at the Cuba Libre mini-chain, at both the Atlantic City and Philly locations. Alivia already had a Philly connection: He went to college here.
With Alivia the executive chef at Cuba Libre, Garcia joined the team as sous chef. Garcia, who is originally from Mexico, then went on to help open Lucha Cartel in Old City, where he’s currently the executive chef.
Nemi GM Alejandro Fuentes, also born in Mexico, has been in the restaurant industry for over a decade and “worked all positions,” Garcia says, including as manager at Tela’s Market in Fairmount.
Garcia says they’ve been renovating the property at 2636 E. Ann Street over the last few months. The plan is to open next month with a dinner menu featuring ceviche and tacos, with the tortillas made in-house, along with a list of tequilas and mezcals and house-made mixers for margaritas. Brunch and lunch will follow, after Nemi gets settled in.
The chef describes Nemi as a restaurant and bar offering “authentic flavors from our culture,” and hopes it will become a neighborhood staple.
“Our goal is to not only offer the community of Port Richmond a new place, but also be part of a great community, where we can be involved,” Garcia says.
Nemi, he adds, means “live” in Nahuatl.