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Merivale's bar & cantina pops up at Sydney Opera House this summer

19 December 2012 


Merivale's bar & cantina pops up at Sydney Opera House this summer

The Opera House’s Summer at the House program went ‘loco’ today with further details announced for Sydney’s ultimate playground over summer.

Justin Hemmes’ Merivale Group has partnered with Sydney Opera House to create a Mexican cantina food stall and bar as well as a pop-up cocktail and champagne bar inspired by The Great Gatsby, delivering more exceptional experiences for locals and visitors over summer.

Merivale’s Surry Hills Mexican stalwart El Loco will take up residence at the Opera House over summer. From 4 – 28 January, the new pop-up cantina – El Loco at the House – will be the lively, colourful and affordable eatery on the buzzing Opera House precinct.

Sydney chef, Dan Hong (El Loco, Ms.G’s, Mr. Wong), who oversees some of the city’s most exciting kitchens, will spearhead the pop-up bar and eatery. Serving up signature tacos including the Al Pastor Pork Taco (spit roasted pork) and the daily-changing Secret Taco, the award-winning cheap eat will bring authentic Mexicana fare and a fiesta vibe to the Sydney Opera House summer playground. El Loco at the House will offer a daily $6 - $10 menu ranging from breakfast tacos, kids’ tacos, made-to-order tacos and Dan Hong’s well-loved hot dogs, now made mini for kids.

The something-for-everyone cantina will take up residence on the Western side of the Opera House amongst the grassed broadwalk, light festooned canopy, a stunning playground atmosphere, and the best view in the city. Open from 10am until late seven days a week, El Loco at the House will cater to the Mexican cravings of locals, visitors, pre and post theatre-goers and families. Merivale’s Group Bars Manager and influential cocktail mixologist, Mike Enright, will oversee a creative drinks menu including margaritas and banana and coconut slushies for El Loco at the House.

Those after a more elegant setting or a pre or post theatre cocktail can visit The Cove – a pop-up cocktail and champagne bar inspired by The Great Gatsby, which is also open from 4 – 28 January. As well as an exceptional view, The Cove will offer Summer at the House themed cocktails such as the La Soiree along with wines selected by Merivale’s Master Sommelier and winner of the 2012 Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania, Frank Moreau.

Louise Herron, Sydney Opera House CEO, commented: “The Opera House precinct is a vibrant culinary hub with some of the most stunning dining rooms in the country at Opera Bar, Guillaume at Bennelong and Opera Kitchen. Partnering with Merivale throughout January will be an exciting addition to our diverse precinct experience as part of Summer at the House. Merivale’s El Loco is the perfect fit for our Summer at the House brand – vibrant, accessible, fun and family-friendly.”

Merivale CEO, Justin Hemmes, added: “Summer at the House is a fantastic program and we’re so excited to bring the fun and quirkiness of El Loco to the waterfront alongside such an icon as the Sydney Opera House. Between the tacos, the slushies, the music and the fiesta atmosphere, El Loco at the House is going to be the best seat in the house for January.”

Complementing the new offerings, Opera House’s renowned culinary institutions will take pride of place on the precinct over summer. From Guillaume at Bennelong, award-winning Opera Bar, eclectic Opera Kitchen and Theatre Bars, it doesn’t get much better than one of the world’s most spectacular harbour backdrops matched with innovative food and beverage offerings.

The Summer Playground revealed
Sydney Opera House today announced further details of its hugely popular Summer at the House program creating a must-visit experience and ‘local’ for Sydneysiders, city workers, travelers and families this summer:

• $25 Summer Tix – a brand new initiative by the Opera House selling a number of tickets to shows within the next 24 hours at the seriously-reduced price of $25. Tickets will go live (and slightly gangbusters) from 12:30pm daily until sold out. Check out shows daily at: 

• Over 80 performances at friendly price points, including free entertainment and activities for families, children and adults

• Bringing some street cred to the site, a Skate Park installed on the upper podium will be open to the public from 8 – 20 January between 11am – 7pm. Professional demonstrations will take place prior to Concert Hall performances of street dance sensation, Blaze.

• What’s going on inside? The foyers are just as busy and the Opera House’s free Creative Play area is open every day. Creative Play is a dedicated area for families involving storytelling and activities. It’s a free activity for all, not just ticket holders.

• A pop-up Bar Coco food stall serving gelato, pancakes and traditional Sicilian sweets (cannoli anyone?)

• A mobile Campos coffee cart – after opening a flagship store inside the Opera House it was time to spread the caffeine love

• The masters of healthy ice-cream (yes, they exist) Liana Raine will be on the precinct with their charming popsicle cart, as well as dishing up healthy fruit juices

For more information on Summer at the House, please visit:


Kate Huish
0422 963 184


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