Ananas Bar & Brasserie will expand to Darling Harbour to make way for El Camino Cantina (Sydney)

Give El Camino Cantina  a big warm “hola” when it sets up shop in The Rocks this May; the Urban Purveyor Group will open its first Austin-inspired Tex-Mex restaurant in The Argyle precinct, replacing their acclaimed French gem Ananas Bar & Brasserie, which will be moving on down to Darling Harbour as part of a new development with indoor and alfresco dining, a wine and Champagne garden bar for over 150 guests, an oyster bar, and a bakery.

El Camino Cantina will bring a fiesta-style flavour to The Rocks, and add to the already stellar array of restaurants already in UPG’s portfolio, like Munich Brauhaus, The Cut Bar & Grill, Saké Restaurant & Bar and The Argyle.

El Camino Cantina’s arrival won’t come in with a whimper.  The décor will be fun and festive, in a tex-mex meets rock-n-roll sort of way.  Muscle cars and motorbikes sit alongside neon lights, and 2 fully-restored 1957 Chevy trunks will offer complimentary fresh salsa and chips in the restaurant’s bar areas.  The menu will feature bold and flavourful comida like spicy salsas, tacos, fajitas and enchiladas. A tortilla station will hand-make several thousand fresh flour and corn tortillas daily. There will also be an adjoining tequila and mescal lounge.

“I don’t believe anyone in this market is delivering a real Tex-Mex experience, not the way it is done in cities like Austin, Texas where there is a great Tex-Mex cantina on every corner,” said Urban Purveyor Group Chief Executive Officer Thomas Pash.

“The Tex-Mex experience is about big, bold flavours, as well as boisterous bars with freshly squeezed, blended and shaken Margaritas. Cantinas are loud, fun and can get a little crazy, so being in The Argyle precinct is the perfect spot for our first El Camino Cantina.”

Ananas will close this weekend on April 2, and will open up again in September in the boulevard dining precinct at the soon-to-open International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) at Darling Harbour, coinciding with the ICC Sydney and theatre’s grand opening.

There will be a few farewell events leading up to an Au Revoir party for Ananas, which is on the 1st April, where a complimentary glass of Moët from 5pm will be offered for the first 50 guests, as well as $150 magnums of Moët.

“We are going to add a full breakfast menu featuring fresh crêpes, omelettes, house-made pastries and breads, fresh juices and organic coffee,” says Urban Purveyor Group Culinary Director Martin Heierling of the revamping of Ananas’ lunch and dinner menus. “We are also going to take our famous Atlantic lobster brunch up a notch by offering it every Sunday, when in season.”

These big power moves from Urban Purveyor Group come as part of some of their biggest changes to date, which have recently seen the announcement of two new Sake siblings – Sake Jr and Sake Live – and Italian restaurant Stella Ristorante & Terrazzo, all of which will open later this year. The group are also opening a Sake on Flinders Lane in Melbourne, as well as a Sake Jr.


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