Back in 2017, these guys earned our utmost respect upon opening one of the Coast’s boldest bars—a hidden-away speakeasy which saw a back alley storage room converted into a hip and happening whisky and cocktail bar. Braver yet, the intimate venue was unsigned and concealed behind a non-descript red door that required sending a text message to gain entry.
Two years have passed since Brenden Yeo and Zac Wright brought Lockwood to the grungy back alleys of Burleigh—kick-starting a new evolution of nightlife in Burleigh—so we’re understandably excited to announce that they’re days away from launching their latest project.
Brenden and Zac have jumped at the opportunity to takeover an underutilised spot in the fiercely proud neighbourhood of Tugun, and we know locals will be pumped.
Located on Tugun’s busy shopping nook, Caracara—named after the majestic falcon on the Mexican flag—will feature a low-key tequila bar tucked away at the rear, and a bright and welcoming cantina at the front, bringing some much needed after dark buzz to the 4224.
While Brenden and Zac are yet to share their drinks list, we’re told to expect all the margarita classics, mixed on both tequila and mezcal. Similar to their whisky bar in Burleigh, that champions old-fashioned bartending and cocktail-making, the best seats in the house will be at the bar, where the friendly staff love a banter and sharing their knowledge about this agave-based liquor. Did you know mezcal—the smokier version with various flavour profiles—is more frequently consumed by native Mexicans than its more internationally popular counterpart, tequila? Well, you too will be a convert when you sip a few of their top drops. Education, interaction and pushing the boundaries are what these guys do best.
Street side, Caracara’s cantina will have a succinct menu that’s prepared fresh daily. With 90% of the menu starting with a vegan foundation (including the housemade sauces and mayos), plant-based eaters will find plenty of options. Love your meat? Just add protein and voila, everyone is catered for. Think: ceviche, fish tacos, pulled pork tacos, bean burritos and more, with a simplified menu for the back bar, where bar snacks are paired perfectly with that Mexican Mule of tequila, ginger beer, citrus and charred pineapple garnish.
A familiar face around these parts, Sally Sa will continue to manage the rotating live music roster, with favourite and emerging local artists (and the odd travelling gypsy) to entertain drinkers a few nights per week.
With an innate ability to draw a fun crowd and create an effortlessly cool vibe, we know Tugun and the southern end will embrace the lads and their team with open arms.
Caracara is set to open this weekend, then regularly operating Wednesday through Sunday evenings for dinner and late-night tipples, with a Sunday afternoon session also in the works. We’ll be back soon with a tasty sample of the action.
What: Caracara Tequila Bar & Cantina
Where: 455 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
When: Open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner, plus Sunday lunch
For more information, click here.
Image credit: Amy Higg for Urban List