Thomas and Nicholas Welch, the brothers behind Prahran's White Oaks Saloon and Silverlake Social, are heading further south of the US border with the opening of Casa N.O.M, a dedicated mezcaleria on Greville Street.
"We've taken what we do at White Oaks Saloon down a Latin road," says Nicholas. N.O.M stands for Norma Oficial Mexicana, the compulsory standards and regulations stamped on commodities such as tequila and mescal in Mexico.
The bar will offer different types of mezcal, a cousin to tequila made from a wider range of agave plants. Casa N.O.M will also offer half and full nips of other Latin American spirits, such as cachaca, pisco, rums and aguardientes, an anise-flavoured Colombian spirit.
Casa N.O.M fills the site that once housed magazine and stationery store Mag Nation. It's a polished space, with a large stone bench, lots of brass and rendered cement walls and ceilings. A green undertone throughout represents the colour of the agave plant.
Drinks are the focus, but Casa N.O.M also functions as a 35-seat restaurant with a dinner menu dominated by gluten-free and vegan options. Pequeno (or small) plates include blue corn-loaded chilaquiles (tortillas simmered in salsa) topped with vegan cheese, or croquettes made from mashed Yucatan plantains. Larger options include Colombian arepas (hot pockets made with white cornmeal) stuffed with chilli beef, and taco-seasoned fries. There is also craft beer, wine and cocktails.
Open Tue-Fri 4pm-late, Sat-Sun noon-late at 110 Greville Street, Prahran, casanom.com.au