Inspired by all the Mexicola vibes (minus the million shots at once), South Of The Wall is a brand new Mexican bar and restaurant in Cremorne. it launched last week, and Melbourne is already buzzing—that might have something to do with the ten different margaritas to choose from. Yep, ten. Count 'em.
Perched on the corner of Cremorne Street, the venue is surprisingly shy—you’ll be surprised by the spacious fit-out, stretching all the way to the outdoor courtyard. And in the courtyard, one of the best murals we've seen all year. The guys really took the 'South of the Wall' theme and ran with it...
Co-owner Nathan Box is pretty up front. They built this place to escape from "the doom and gloom of Trump". Which is why you'll spot the Donald himself (saltily) lurking over the wall at the poppin’ party happening on the other side. A little bit of tongue in cheek humour that fits right in with Cremorne's grungy, street-art heritage.
“I wanted the mural to portray Mexico in a different light,” Nathan says.
Nathan is one of six Melbourne mates (including Tigers’ star Josh Caddy) who went in on the venture. The team knew they wanted to open a Mexican restaurant from the get-go, for all the fun and flavour, but it was the name that proved a challenge.
“The boys wanted to call it a Mexican name and I’ve been in hospitality long enough to realise that if people can’t pronounce the name, they’re probably not going to come,” Nathan says. It wasn’t until the lads gathered around a couple of drinks did the weeks of bickering come to an end.
As Trump dominated…well everything, the team joked around with names like “south of the border or wall” and a few drinks later, that last one started to sound “real good.”
So what makes this Mexican restaurant different to anyone else’s? The ten margaritas and legion of cocktails all designed by master barman Greg. With years of experience at Public House and Lilly Blacks to his name, Greg knows how to whip up a marg for the pickiest drinker out there.
You’ll find him making magic behind the long bar, shelving an impressive line-up of bottled drinks and of course, good ol’ cerveza on tap. For something a lil’ stronger with a fresh ping, try the Cucumber for a concoction of Patron Silver tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and freshly-pressed cucumber juice.
And food? Well keeping in line with the theme, it’s all about the bright colours and the classics. Think nachos, tacos, quesadillas, and para picar (small snacks) to munch on. Hands down, you need to try their Al Pastor tacos for that pulled pork and habanero combo. It may come on a sharing plate, but look, one serve’s definitely not enough. Hot tip: have a drink handy ‘cos things get bloody spicy.
As for the fit-out, you’ll be all loved up the moment you step inside. A total escape from the bustling Swan St, South Of The Wall is the perfect mix between Melbourne and Mexico, with plenty of pastel colours and neon lights across walls. There’s also an array of tiki furniture, a booth to hog all night, and that sun-drenched courtyard outside. Say hi to the President for us.
Learn more about those ten margaritas here.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White