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Coming Soon: Carmen Is the New 80-Seater Mexican Restaurant and Tequileria Opening on James Street

This upcoming addition to Brisbane's inner north will pair poached lobster tacos with small-batch mezcals, plus plenty of agave and tequila cocktails.
By Sarah Ward
May 22, 2023
By Sarah Ward
May 22, 2023

Running through Fortitude Valley and New Farm, James Street has long had Brisbanites flocking to the city's inner north for a sip and a bite to eat, adding dining and drinking options aplenty over the two decades since it rebadged its industrial stretch into an urban precinct. The next reason to head by will arrive in July, giving the roadway an 80-seater Mexican restaurant and tequileria — aka Potentia Solutions Leisure's new venue Carmen.

Joining a hospitality stable that also features rooftop joints Lina and Soko, this newcomer will combine an eatery, bar and lounge. So, both dinners and kicking back over tequila- and agave-heavy cocktails will be on the menu.

Patrons can expect to tuck into poached lobster tacos, Mexican woodfired cauliflower, charred corn rillettes, kingfish ceviche and a Mexican take on haloumi, as well an ice cream-topped dessert that'll also take its cues from the restaurant's country of interest (complete with the venue's own secret crumb). Other dishes will also glean their influences from elsewhere around the world, however, as seen with Sydney rock oysters and beef short rib rendang.

Seafood is set to be a big feature, as tends to be the trend no matter what style of cuisine is on offer in Brisbane. Also, sustainability will be a hefty focus across both the food and drinks spread. Carmen is working towards a zero-waste cocktail list, settings itself a goal to achieve waste-free tipples — but launching with a menu that's as close as possible in the interim.

As Soko does, Carmen will collaborate with the One Tree Planted program, too, donating a portion of funds from some drinks to support global reforestation.

In addition to cocktails, and tequila and agave in general, small-batch mezcals and a premium wine list will be ready for the swilling, including in the lounge area decked out in neutral tones amid white walls and curved archways.

Find Carmen Tequileria at 70 James Street, Fortitude Valley from sometime in July — we'll update you with an exact opening date when one is announced.

Top image: James Street, Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons.

Published on May 22, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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