Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park.
Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park. Marc Stapelberg

Nacho ordinary Mexican food

THE much anticipated opening of the region's latest Mexican restaurant has brought flavour, freshness and flair.

Launched with a roaring start on Thursday night, Chupacabra, in Suffolk Park, had crowds of locals, family and friends gathering for the celebration, and included a special performance by a mariachi band.

New mexican restaurant for Byron Bay: Launched with a roaring start on Thursday night, Chupacabra, in Suffolk Park, had crowds of locals, family and friends gathering for the celebration, and included a special performance by a mariachi band.
New mexican restaurant for Byron Bay: Launched with a roaring start on Thursday night, Chupacabra, in Suffolk Park, had crowds of locals, family and friends gathering for the celebration, and included a special performance by a mariachi band.

After six months of scrambling and hard-work, Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes said it still felt a little surreal to finally be in full swing.

"We only moved down (from Brisbane) a month before we started all this process," Ms Stokes said.

"We have been down here for around six months but it's been a long process."

Within weeks of the former restaurant Tully's closing, the new restaurant - inspired by the beaches and lifestyle of coastal Oaxana - was revamped, refurnished and ready for action.

"It doesn't feel real yet... this all came together in about a week," Mr White said.

"Everyone just came together, it was just beautiful and really cool, I think there is just a lot of hospitality love."

The couple have teamed up with the owners of restaurants Harvest Newrybar and Barrio Byron Bay to open the new authentic taqueria and have employed staff from their predecessors.

Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park.
Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park. Marc Stapelberg

"We've brought all our staff over from Tully's into the new venue, it's still the same venue at heart but a change of cuisine and new owner joining the owners," Ms Stokes said.

"It's so nice to have such a big institution helping us out, we have all their support and networks around the shire and then they have also given us a lot of freedom as well."

Mr White said their expertise and knowledge have been invaluable to getting Chupacabra on its feet.

"I think I would've been a bit shaky trying to decide on a venue and everything but because they were like 100 per cent 'Suffolk Park is the place to be', we really took their word for it," he said.

Mr White has been mastering the art of authentic Mexican food for many years now and was looking forward to sharing his creations with the Byron Bay palate.

Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park.
Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park. Marc Stapelberg
Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park.
Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes have launched Chupacabra in Suffolk Park. Marc Stapelberg

"I'm really excited for the sunshine to come back, people to grab some tacos, enjoy the space and even get their tacos down to the beach," he said.

The venue focuses on traditional Mexican food, where "tacos are king", and all produce is 100 per cent locally sourced.

"We can't wait to continue to build a local following here in Suffolk, we want residents of all ages and backgrounds to be able to enjoy 'Chupa'," Mr White said.

Opening times:

Breakfast and Lunch: Monday - Saturday 7am-11am / 11am-3pm

Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5:30pm-10pm

Sunday: 10am-6pm

Where: Shop 12a, 3 Clifford Street, Suffolk Park, Byron Bay.

www.chupacabra.com.au / @chupabyron