Dogwood BX owners put a new restaurant in the Mex for Bathurst

TASTE OF MEXICO: Evan and Lex Stanley will open El Guapo Cantina on Keppel Street in early October. Photo: BRADLEY JURD
TASTE OF MEXICO: Evan and Lex Stanley will open El Guapo Cantina on Keppel Street in early October. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

THE business brains behind American-style diner Dogwood BX are now bringing a taste of Mexico to Bathurst.

Evan and Lex Stanley are set to open El Guapo Cantina in early October, at the old Secret Garden location on Keppel Street. 

A Mexican restaurant is something the pair have had in the back of their minds ever since Dogwood opened last year.

But the opportunity only presented itself after Tommy’s Tex-Mex closed recently.

“The idea to open a Mexican restaurant had always been in the back of our mind but we didn’t want to compete with Tommy’s when they were open because everyone loves Tommy’s and we are really close with Tommy,” Ms Stanley said.

“After Tommy called to let us know that he was going to be closing his doors, our minds went into overdrive.

“We couldn’t live in a town without a Mexican restaurant.” 

But where Tommy’s was focused on Mexican-American fusion food, El Guapo will be focused on serving solely authentic Mexican food and drinks. 

“We’ve got the American-style covered at Dogwood and now we want to have a traditional Mexican-style restaurant at El Guapo,” Ms Stanley said. 

“We’ll have a bunch of entrées but then we’re going to have a range of tacos for mains and then we’ll have desserts. We want to keep it simple but traditional.”

The first phase of El Guapo will see the front room transformed into a sit-down restaurant, with takeaway options where the food would be prepared at the restaurant but the consumer would put the dish together at home. 

Phase two, transforming the spacious courtyard into a beer garden, is expected to be done by early December, just in time for summer.

“We’ll have sangria on tap and some cool tequila cocktails,” Ms Stanley said.

“We’ll also be getting a slushy margarita machine, just in time for summer.”

Once completed, the restaurant will be able to host events, music and stand-up comedy nights. 

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