El Gaucho Hospitality

About Our Company

Swanky. Nostalgic. Spirited. Ritualistic. Personalized.

  • El Gaucho Hospitality was founded in 2000 by Paul Mackay and includes five successful properties. Each is based on Paul’s original vision and is designed to present guests with a unique, unparalleled service encounter—one in which every single detail is considered an essential element to the overall experience.

    Our History

    Seattle’s original El Gaucho opened in 1953 by Jim Ward; it’s sister restaurant was the 13 Coins. Paul Mackay opened the Seattle 13 Coins for Mr. Ward and became the General Manager of the original El Gaucho. After Mr. Ward passed, the restaurants were sold off and El Gaucho closed its doors shortly after, in 1985. By that time, Mr. Mackay had already left and ran many restaurants such as Elliots, Metropolitan Grill, Yarrow Bay Grill, and opened his own restaurant, the Flying Fish, in 1995 with Christine Keff.

    Mr. Mackay always said the original El Gaucho didn’t die a natural death, but was murdered by the next owners who didn’t understand the value of quality, service and tradition. He always wanted to bring it back and did in 1996, when the El Gaucho was reincarnated at 1st and Wall in Belltown. The family business, Mackay Restaurant Group, continued to expand and includes El Gaucho Portland (2000), AQUA by El Gaucho (2000), El Gaucho Tacoma (2002), Inn at El Gaucho (2005) and El Gaucho Bellevue (2008). We now operate as El Gaucho Hospitality management group.


  • Paul Mackay