NEW CONCEPTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Mexican taqueria CHUPACABRA to open in Byron Bay next month

The restaurant boasts of a menu that consists of “slow” fast food.

A new taqueria is set to compete in Australia’s growing Mexican quick service and fast casual restaurant market.

CHUPACABRA is opening in Byron Bay this coming July, and plans to feature authentic but more “coastal” or “Caribbean”-style Mexican dishes while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere that channels the beaches of Mexico.

The new brand says their menu will be “slow fast food” with all corn tortillas made in house daily, and features dishes such as tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple, daily changing ceviche Mexicana, esquites (off-the-cob corn grilled and slathered with condiments), sharing plates from the asado (pollo, pulpo, pescado), and Cochinita pibil (slow cooked pork, sour orange, coriander, lime, pickled onion).

They will also have a cocktail program, which will feature a signature margarita on tap with seasonal tropical variations, their spin on the michelada, and classics such as Horchata Coladas and Mezcal Negroni. A large range of tequila and mezcal will also be available, including the latter sourced from Oaxaca in central Mexico.

Customers can also avail of their wine list that will feature small production wine-makers (local and international) and their range of fresh pressed juices, home-made sodas and a special blend of Mexican coffee.

CHUPACABRA, named after Latin American folklore of an animal known as the “goat-sucker”, came to be after Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes partnered with owners of restaurants Harvest Newrybar and Barrio Byron Bay.

White and Stokes reportedly chose the area due to similarities in ecosystems between the east coast current of Australia and the Mexican Gulf Stream – share the same ocean fauna and produce such as tuna, sail fish and prawns.

The restaurant is expected to host 60 customers, including 20 seats outside, and features a design that aims to have a relaxed, beach atmosphere with “subtle touches of true Mexico.”

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