86-88 Pitt St Sydney (Enter via Hoskings Place, using the lightbox to guide you)
Open till late, 7 nights 4pm – 2am except for public holidays
Late last week, Mucho Group (the team behind Tio’s, Cantina OK! and Bar Planet) quietly opened their new basement cantina in Pitt Street, Centro 86. Centro means central in Spanish and the team say this bar is “going to be the centre of our new Tequila universe”. And with two multi-award winning Tequila bars already under their umbrella, this looks set to raise the bar even further with this 100 pax venue which will open 7 days a week till 2am.
Ice shavers, five different types of margaritas and two popcorn machines set the tone for a fun bar. “We are super excited to bring our new tequila universe to life in the city,” says Creative Director and Co-owner of Mucho Group, Jeremy Blackmore. “We think that Centro 86 is an extra-ordinary tequila bar, drinks made with our MUCHO commitment to fun and freshness and a space that feels familiar and out of this world all at once.
“We can’t wait to share all of the hard work that our team put into the room, the drinks, the music and, of course, the service.”
Conceived by Blackmore, Centro 86 is “an old fancy Mexican Cantina on shrooms”. The green and gold interiors are rich and warm and have been inspired by the old classic cantinas in Mexico City but with a Mucho Group twist. They have worked again with Sydney artist David Humphries, local stained glass, local ceramicists, local furniture makers and other artists, with all the art being hand-designed by their own team.
“We are super excited to bring our new tequila universe to life in the city. We think that Centro 86 is an extra-ordinary tequila bar, drinks made with our MUCHO commitment to fun and freshness and a space that feels familiar and out of this world all at once.” – Creative Director and Co-owner of Mucho Group, Jeremy Blackmore.
On the drinks front, expect a dedication to margaritas and Tequila. At Mucho, they have been perfecting the margarita for over 15 years, from Tio’s classic Margarita to the World’s 50 Best Margaritas at Cantina, OK!
They have served over one million margaritas and will no doubt serve a million more in the coming years. With the limited capacity of 20 people at Cantina OK!, Centro 86 will allow hundreds more people each night to enjoy more Mucho-style drinks.
But it’s not just margaritas; expect an array of Latin-style cocktails with fresh fruit, weirdness and Latin spirits like pisco and white rum. And, of course, like any top-notch cocktail bar, there is a focus on ice-cold glasses, hand-pressed lime juice, shaved-to-order ice and thoughtful use of a modern Sydney pantry. Expect to see some dead classics resurrected in coming months with whispers of a Caipiroska with a Centro 86 workover.
As a dedicated tequila bar, there are 100 hand-selected tequilas that range in price from $13 to $180 a shot. The collection has been a labour of love and you will find bottlings that you can’t find anywhere else in Australia. Expect a journey of agave, including a bottling from Bowen in Queensland. The team describe it as a selection, not a collection.
On the people front, Ryan Bickley has taken on the role of Venue Manager, moving from Cantina OK! to Centro 86, bringing the quality and warm, personable service that Cantina OK! is known for. He has a great team of passionate staff working alongside him to bring this fun cantina to life.
So get on down to Pitt Street as it’s just become there perfect spot for a little bar crawl, with with Caterpillar Club from Swillhouse located at number 92. Two massive bar openings from two of the country’s leading bar groups within a stone’s throw of each other sounds like, a win for the Sydney CBD and we’re here for it.