El Coco, Here for the Summer


Sometimes an old dog can be taught new tricks, or dressed up in new clothing. The old Exchange Hotel is being transformed into El Coco for the summer, a pop-up Cuban bar with all the bright colours and greenery a bar could ever need. Need we say more? Ok we will.

The man behind the drinks is pretty much a celebrity in the cocktail making scene Sebastian Raeburn (of 1806 the glory days). He is no doubt going to be whipping up some seriously interesting things. On the menu already? Rum Negronis, Invisible Mojitos, and a Cuba Libre.

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When it comes to the food, Hammer & Tong are in charge. Think a beef rib stackwich of smoked ham, egg, provolone cheese, pickled onion and beetroot; a soft shell crab taco with sesame slaw, Sriracha mayo, spring onions and coriander; plus potato wafers with chipotle sour cream. We’ll say it again chipotle sour cream. Finish with a sweet treat of Cuban chocolate cigars. Job = done.

As the year kicks into the silly season El Coco will be hosting a number of parties on Friday and Saturday nights:

Fri November 28: Scatter Scatter Tropical Discotheque 
Fri December 5: Waving at Trains presents Sleep D and Grant Camov
Sat December 6: Bacardi Prohibition Party featuring tunes from Quarter Street Orchestra
Fri December 12: A Jazz Party with Jazz inspired DJs
Sat December 20: Wondercore Island Xmas Party – feat. Nai Palm 

Go before the good times run out. Simple as that.

El Coco
120 King Street, Melbourne

Monday to Thursday: lunch and dinner
Friday: lunch–late
Saturday: 4pm–late 
Closed Sunday

About the author

Yoga teacher, writer, blogger, and marketing whiz – it’s safe to say Amy Collins is a busy little lady. Her idea of a stellar evening is yoga class followed by a glass of wine. Her favourite quote: “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”


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