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Published February 6th 2016
A night of tequila, mezcal and sin
A Guatemalan legend resides in Melbourne and his home in Euro House is a surreal wonderland.
Dating back to the 18th Century, the legend of Saint Maximon [pronounced mah-shee-mon] is a tale that has grown tall and twisted. It blends the stories of Catholic Saint Simon and a Guatemalan degenerate turned hero called Maximon.
Rumours of drug addiction, alcohol abuse and seduction; Maximon is usually depicted with a cigarette hanging from his sly smile. In Guatemala, effigies of him are worshiped under the cover of darkness.
House of Maximon is Melbourne's shrine to this reject of the Catholic Church. Maximon welcomes you into his perplexing home. Virgin Marys with Dia des Meurtos makeup, bones and surrealist artwork adorn the perverted crypt. The venue invites you to respect that the bar is his alter.
Secret booths provide places to hide away, with peepholes to ensure everything is [mostly] above board. The massive, wrought iron sliding doors that cover the VIP area are reminiscent of a church confessional.
Once described as "Andy Warhol on crack", Denis Ropar's portraits are insane and unnerving. Skulls and skeletons leer out over seating spaces. Artwork and a candlelit vibe add to the dangerous edge.
The bar specialises in South American classics with a House of Maximon twist, as well as some signature cocktails. Tequila and Mezcal are obvious highlights. The Swordfish Trombone is dark – mixed with Applejack, maple syrup, cinnamon bitters and burnt orange. Dope Smoker is a pre-batched, intense smoky creation mixed with single malt scotch, mezcal, dark rum and chocolate.
Staff are friendly and provide good recommendations. The venue hosts Crab Lab on comedy night on Wednesdays and a hot'n steamy Latin night Saturdays. Salsa, Reggae and Latin music are served up by the Brazilian DJ while Tequila shots flow.
House of Maximon is a bit untouched. It's easy to get a table and you feel like you've stumbled across a secret. The hype around it is growing so get in quick.