In a climate of million dollar fit-outs and highly strategic hospitality launches, Lorne’s Mexican Republic couldn’t be more chill. The compact venue emits warm vibes and inspires cheeky grins, but its design came about, in the same way as the restaurant – by osmosis.
Mexican Republic, owned by Matt Griffiths and Aaron Graham, is the duo’s second venue after local favourite Moons Cafe. As is the way in small towns everyone’s connected and Griffiths and Graham, are childhood friends. Both worked at another local institution, Pizza Pizza (co-owned by Graham’s brother) and after a few years they decided to go out on their own and purchased Moons Cafe.
Starting at Moons Cafe the chef, and now partner Kyle Holmer, suggested they start offering a Mexican menu at night after the cafe closed for the day. Long story short it was a giant success, and six months later a lease popped up that caught their eye.
Laid-back, casual and far from corporate it sounds like this venue was established almost by serendipity (without discounting the hard work that goes hand-in-hand with small biz). Trial and error are a recurring theme and Mexican Republic has refined its offering the old school way. The venue feels just as a coastal hangout should, casual, laid-back and with an authenticity only achieved when the owners work in the business day-to-day and hang out with their friends there at night.
Grab a spot on one of the picnic benches, grab a beer and watch the sun go down over Lorne’s main beach. Tucked away just off Lorne’s main drag, Mexican Republic is a detour worth making.
Recommended – Chorizo Burrito, Charred Street Corn and Pineapple Quesadilla.