Noelia Thames and Humberto Gacioppo. Josele
Gaucho group opens two new restaurants in Marbella

Gaucho group opens two new restaurants in Marbella


Picú and Lalala Brasserie are the two latest offerings by the chain that already employs 180 people in Puerto Banús

Juan Soto


Thursday, 2 March 2023, 19:53


The Gaucho group continues to grow in Marbella. The Malaga-based restaurant chain has just opened Picú, its fourth business in Puerto Banús and is now finalising the opening of its fifth restaurant in the same area.

Picú is located at 11 Calle Muelle Benabola, next to El Gaucho, and specialises in seafood and. With an Ibizan interior, the protagonist of the menu is lobster.

Picú, whose name comes from the Argentine expression 'Pipí Cucú' meaning something that has a superior quality, has hired 25 new members of staff and the restaurant has a capacity for 120 diners, both inside and on a small terrace overlooking the marina.

Parallel to this opening, the group is working on the opening of Lalala Brasserie, a restaurant with a French theme where its selection of cheeses will be the focal point. This new restaurant will also open in the Muelle de Levante. The opening is scheduled for Easter and will allow employ up to 32 people in high season.

Lalala Brasserie will be able to accommodate 160 diners thanks to a large terrace with panoramic views. Both Picú and Lalala will open in the morning to serve breakfast and the kitchen will remain open throughout the day.


With the two new additions, the Gaucho group will increase its staff to 180 employees. The entrepreneurs are currently recruiting for Picú and La Catrina to work during the high season. Positions available, which are posted on the group's website, include kitchen and waiting staff as well as public relations. The deadline for applications is April.

Founder Humberto Gacioppo explained that the proximity of all five restaurants is the best way to be able to control all the businesses in person. «We love working in all of them and being nearby is the best way to do that,» he said. Although he recognises that all of the restaurants are located in the most expensive part of Marbella he believes that the investment will pay off thanks to the influx of tourists to the Puerto Banús area.

Founded by the Argentinian entrepreneur Humberto Gacioppo and his wife Noelia Thames, the company began its journey in 2013 with the opening of El Gaucho de Banús on Calle Muelle Benabola.

Despite their current business success, Humberto and Noelia's journey has not been easy. They left Argentina in 2000 and lived as illegal immigrants in the United States and Canada. In 2004 they managed to travel to Spain and in 2008 they visited Marbella, where they decided to settle.

Sleeping on the sand

Gacioppo and Thames haven't always worked in the hospitality industry. In fact they started out in Spain selling jewellery and T-shirts on the beach and in Argentina Gacioppo had been a dentist. «We arrived with nothing and we spent many nights sleeping on the sand,» Gacioppo recalls.

«On the beach we met someone who liked us and lent us 30,000 euros with no contract to produce a jewellery collection for him,» he adds. This was the start of what became Noelia Thames Jewellery; a product that went from the Puerto Banús summer flea market to be sold in 13 shopping centres throughout Spain and that has been worn by celebrities including Naomi Campbell and Marlène Mourreau.

Like so many others, the financial crisis forced them to close all the premises and reinvent themselves in the world of hospitality. However, the jewellery is still sold via the internet.

They opened the ice cream parlour La Venezia in Muelle Benabola and later in 2021, they opened the Mexican restaurant La Catrina. Picú has just been added to these businesses and the brasserie will soon follow.

«Marbella is a mixture of Cancún, Miami, of the different areas we have lived, and that's why we fell in love as soon as we saw it,» they explain. Of their success as businesspeople in the area they say, «Many people have seen us grow and consider us their family; that's the best thing of all.»

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