From food truck to multi-story drinking and dining venue in just a few short years.
September 01, 2023
When Ricos Tacos closed its popular Chippendale home at the beginning of August in 2023, founder and head honcho Toby Wilson promised: "We'll reopen in a bigger way later on in the year". That time arrived sooner rather than later when the cult-favourite Mexican reopened in its new Redfern home just over a month later.
With the help of PUBLIC, the hospitality group behind The Strand Hotel, The Lady Hampshire, Oxford House and Maybe Sammy, Wilson and the team levelled up Ricos at Cleveland Street stalwart The Norfolk Hotel and transformed it into the impressive restaurant and bar that it was always destined to be.
"We never intended to have a 20-seater venue," Wilson told Concrete Playground when the Chippendale outpost closed down. "Ricos was always meant to be something a bit bigger than that."
The multi-storey restaurant is split into two distinct spaces — a bright yellow dining room and beer garden downstairs and the mysterious Club Ricos upstairs. Food-wise, you can expect the fan-favourite hashbrowns, a rotating selection of tacos, chicken tortas and zucchini flower quesadillas — plus a carne asada special every Sunday and a rotating taco of the week.
"I've spent a lot of time at The Norfolk being a Sydney local, and it's the perfect place for the version of Ricos Tacos I've been envisioning since I started in the food truck," says Wilson. "Jon and the team at PUBLIC have allowed me full creative license and support to enhance its offering."
Hailing back to the 1920s, The Norfolk Hotel is a historic Redfern watering hole that already boasts one of Sydney's best wine and snack bars in La Salut. The moody corner bar specialises in all things Spanish and Catalonian, recently taking out the Special Jury Prize at the international Star Wine List of the Year awards for 2023.
The new iteration of Ricos Tacos now inhabits a vibrant space reminiscent of Mexican sports bars and is still one of the best Mexican restaurants in Sydney.
Images: Alana Dimou and Steven Woodburn
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