Story by Eve Jeffery
Amelia Stokes and Evan White have been in the hospitality industry a long time, so they really know what they are doing, and their current venture is on point for getting it right.
Chupacabra is a little slice of Mexico without the airfare – Evan has worked around the world as a chef, including a stint in Mexico when he was young.
Coming up to their lucky third anniversary, Amelia and Evan have loved creating an experience for someone on a night out. ‘Both of us love the hustle and bustle of hospitality and we go crazy when we aren’t working six days a week,’ says Amelia.
‘What people love most about Chupacabra is being transported to Mexico! Oftentimes the food we think about as being Mexican – burritos and nachos etc – is actually Tex-Mex and not what we really eat in Mexico.’
Amelia says there are so many amazing authentic dishes that Chupacabra try to replicate to give people a taste of the fresh, delicious food they eat in Central America. ‘In a similar way, a lot of restaurants paint a caricature of Mexico with sombreros and cactus everywhere – we tried to design and decorate our venue as close to a real beachside cantina as possible, so people often tell us they feel like they are really there.’
Amelia says that the pandemic and the recent lockdown demonstrated to them that the Byron area has some of the luckiest hospitality people in the country and the world. ‘So many places will struggle to re-open, but we are lucky enough that our region is flourishing right now. We have learnt so much about adapting and the way we work has changed over and over, all year long. We are hoping to keep giving the people what they want and facilitating great nights out for them.’
Amelia says when people couldn’t get out she wanted friends to be able to make some of the Chupacabra dishes at home. ‘We put up some recipe walk-throughs on our instagram
@chupabyron. People sent us the results and told us their meals were surprisingly easy – that’s because our food tastes great from using great products, not fancy cooking techniques.’
Chupacabra are gearing up for the festive season and are looking forward to hosting Christmas parties. ‘For the next few months we are offering no venue hire fee for daytime events.’
Chupacabra are at Shop 12A/3 Clifford St, Suffolk Park. You can find out more at: chupacabra.com.au.