With mezcal and tiny Mexican dogs, this new bar is helping make the forgotten land of South Wharf a lot more interesting.
Dogs in adorable costumes: it's a divisive subject, and, in my opinion, it's something that doesn't happen nearly enough. Especially in tequila bars.
But, South Wharf? Hold your judgement — it's better than you think. If you haven't ventured down to the south side of town for a while, it's definitely time to cross the bridge and take a stroll along the promenade. Chihuahua Bar sits alongside a pack of new venues including Gasolina and Bangpop.
Recognising a gap in the market, bar manager Tina was inspired to open up a venue along South Wharf that was 'a bit more fun and relaxed'. Chihuahua Bar achieves precisely that — a pocket of riverside real estate wedging itself somewhere between the worlds of Mad Mex and Mamasita. "We thought it was a good opportunity to put a little creativity and personality into the area," explains Tina of her colourful, festive venue, which has only been open for two weeks.
Barrett clearly knows her bars — she's also one of the brains behind the soon-to-be opened Vessel bar, which will join Chihuahua Bar on the banks of South Wharf in the very near future.
The snack menu is small and simple — "we're a bar, not a restaurant" — but the quality and freshness of the food is surprising, and everything is made fresh to order. Trust that won't find any bags of Doritos here. While basic, even the tortilla crisps with guacamole and tomato salsa ($7.5) are excellent. So, take your time and relax with a drink; this is no fly-by-night fast food-fest.
Drinks are not cheap, but the range is impressive, including a small selection of Mexican soft drinks (Jarritos in all its candy-coloured flavours), beers and cocktails, and a much bigger offering of tequila and mezcal. There are some real gems on the list, including a few Del Maguey mezcal — the range renowned for its pechuga chicken-vapour infused drink (unfortunately, that one isn't on the menu) — and they range in budget between $12-45.
Don't worry if you're feeling a little under-educated on the spirits of the Mex, as a program of tequila tasting night is planned for the near future. Also keep an eye out for their upcoming best dressed dog competition via their Facebook page.
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