Steven Woodburn

The time has come for the doors of El Primo Sanchez to swing on open in Sydney.

From 22 February, the bar will launch to the public and show patrons what The Maybe Group and Public Hospitality have been working on for months.

The concept has taken over the former location of The Rose hotel on Oxford Street, with the two hospitality groups renovating the space to respectfully pay homage to Mexican culture.

“The idea of creating a Mexican bar that is a throwback to the colourful bars that are found throughout Mexico made sense,” says Maybe Group Co-Founder Stefano Catino.

Catino collaborated with fellow Maybe Sammy Co-Founder Martin Hudak and Bar Manager Eduardo Conde on the drinks list, which has seen the team develop drinks based on a highball format.

There are five highball options served individually or in a jarrito (clay jug) including the Sanchez Paloma, the Charro Negro and the T’NT.

DS Oficina

There’s also the Primo Margarita which is served in a bespoke branded glass, the Gimlet El Maiz made with cordial crafted from leftover tortillas and the Slushy Blushy, which combines rose and watermelon wine with strawberry gum and lime.

Hudak says the Los Clasicos section of the menu is the perfect place for drinkers to understand the nuances of mezcal and tequila and how it can easily elevate cocktails it’s not normally used in.

“Tequila replaces vodka in our espresso martini, we swap bourbon or rye whiskey for aged tequila in an Old Fashioned and for our Negroni, Blanco tequila is the substitute for gin,” says Hudak.

A boutique selection of tequila and agave spirits will be available as nips ($28-61) or to use in a margarita or Old Fashioned. There’s also a selection of Mexican beers on tap, in tins and bottles as well as Spanish wines.

Chef Alejandro Huerta is heading up the food offering after time in Michelin-starred restaurants across the globe.

Tacos form a large part of the menu and include pastor and Brussels sprouts, which sees the veg roasted and tossed in a chilli vinegar made from five Mexican chillis before being served with hazelnut requeson.

Share dishes cover snapper ceviche, chorizo with potatoes, guac, dry-aged steak and pepian verde – a green mole made with pepitas.

Steven Woodburn

“I have great access to premium Mexican ingredients in Australia, so the dishes are developed around those ingredients and supplemented by fresh, local Aussie produce,” says Huerta.

“Should you find yourself in Mexico, and I hope you do, I want you to be able to draw parallels between the food you eat there and what you have had at El Primo Sanchez.”

El Primo Sanchez is the first collaborative project for Public Hospitality and The Maybe Group and will open Wednesday to Saturday, with Sunday trading to begin later on.