REVEALED: Exciting changes to Chango Chango
FOR the past few months, Rockhampton locals have been asking 'what's happening at Chango Chango?'.
The popular Cuban rum bar and lounge closed in late August for maintenance promising to reopen within weeks - but it never did.
Three months on, The Morning Bulletin can exclusively reveal Brisbane couple Rachel and Alex Ferrer purchased the business last week and have big plans for the popular venue on the corner of Bolsover and Archer Sts.
"At the moment we are not going to be changing the decor too much and we are keeping the Chango Chango name,” Alex said.
"My heritage is Spanish so we are looking to reopen it as a traditional Spanish tapas bar.
"The menu is completely different, we are working on some menu changes and have some exciting chefs that work for us at the moment.”
Rachel said the 'new' Chango Chango would open at 7am, seven days a week offering everything from breakfast to coffee and cake.
"We are going to open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast will be a traditional menu with a couple of Spanish touches and we will open from 7am,” Rachel said.
"For lunch and dinner we will have the same menu so people can know they can expect the same thing regardless of what time they come in.
"We're going to have quite an extensive traditional tapas menu and we've taken on a chef and a couple of very competent cooks to enable that to happen.
"Along with the tapas we will have share plates and a quite extensive dessert menu. We'll be offering coffee and cake all day as well.
"We will be having quite a well stocked bar but we are brining on an extensive cocktail menu. There will be traditional cocktails but we will bring in about 10 in-house cocktails and cocktail specials as well.
"Jugs of sangria will definitely be a feature including a white sangria which is my recipe.”
To deliver their new menu, Alex and Rachel have hired between 15-20 staff including about 5-7 full time staff.
With an extensive history in the hospitality and sales industries, Rachel and Alex said Chango Chango caught their eye while they were visiting Rocky for a family holiday and jumped at the opportunity.
"Alex has had very extensive experience in the hospitality industry which included managing the Spanish Club in Sydney for four years so he brings a wealth of experience with him,” Rachel said.
"He has a Spanish heritage where both his parents were born in Spain and we will be bringing that influence into our tapas menu.
"I'm originally from country NSW and Alex is originally from Sydney. We have both had an Eagle Boys franchise for seven years in country NSW. I come from a pretty extensive sales background so this is a good fit for us.”
Alex and Rachel are in the process of relocating to Rockhampton from Brisbane, and a passion for Spanish tapas isn't the only thing they're bringing with them.
"We have three children, two boys that will be going to school in Rockhampton which is exciting and a baby girl who will know lots about the restaurant business quite shortly I would imagine,” Rachel said.
"We can't wait to get in there, start meeting everyone, bring an exciting bar into the Rockhampton area and some positivity.”