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Lucas Schranz

Like Easy Street and Luckies Diners? Wait 'til you try tacocat. 

He’s brought the Gold Coast two of it’s favourite American-style eateries, Easy Street and Luckies Diners and now, along with wife Erin, he’s about to launch a third venue.

We chat with Lucas about tacocat, the traditional Mexican restaurant opening in a Burleigh alleyway later this month.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been here five years, I’m Tasmanian, my parents are Austrian but they moved to Tasmania about 30 years ago. My wife Erin is pretty much a Gold Coaster. She’s been here about 25 years or so and her family is here.

What do you love most about living here?
The weather, so much better than Tasmania. I’ve been here a few years and owning the restaurants, just knowing so many cool people, it’s such an easygoing place. There’s no rat race like Melbourne or Sydney, it’s just a bit more casual and chilled out.

You’re about to open tacocat in Burleigh, can you tell me a bit about it?
Where it’s going is like a garage and even though I say I don’t like being in Melbourne and Sydney, I do like the laneway vibes of Melbourne and the alleyway it’s going into is awesome. I wanted it before I knew what to do there. The space came up and I realized there was no great Mexican food in Burleigh. It’s my favourite part of the Gold Coast so I thought I could probably make tacos. I’m possible going to try and open one of every restaurant flavour-wise. Maybe I’ll do Italian or Japanese next, I don’t know.

What’s going to be unique about it?
I want to do traditional Mexican food, Mexico City type food. Not Californian or Tex Mex style, just pretty traditional but in a modern way.

What’s your background with food?
I’ve been a Chef my whole working life, about 15 years. I travelled and worked overseas, bummed around and snow boarded. I’ve been a delivery driver for a catering company all the way up to working in the best restaurants in Australia. So I’ve done pretty much everything.

You started with Nola at Blackboard Coffee, how did Easy Street Diner come about?
We were doing Nola, which was Southern food, and we opened Easy Street because we didn’t want to only do food from New Orleans. We thought maybe it was a little bit too specific. We decided to do American food and then all of a sudden the hamburgers were just delicious and started being the main part of Easy Street. Bit of a fluke really.

What’s your favourite thing about being in the restaurant biz?
When I was young I used to say I would never have a restaurant. Why would I ever want a restaurant? I would tell my mother she was crazy for thinking I should buy one. Like I said, once I’d worked around a bit and didn’t get along with a few owners, I thought I could do some things a bit better. Owning your own business is awesome, you can do whatever you want, my favourite part is not having to fill out timesheets. I love hanging out with the people I work with, trying to make everyone happy and giving the Gold Coast stuff I think it needs and that they’d like.

You also opened Luckies Diner at The Collective, why did you want to be part of that concept?
I thought Jeremy (owner) was going to do an amazing thing with that place, which he did. I thought it was a great way for heaps of different customers to eat our food, which they are, and just the whole thing about hanging out on the Gold Coast and making it better. The Collective is bloody amazing.

Have you got anything else exciting in the works?
I think I’ll just work on tacocat for a bit and hang out with our new baby. I always think about the next thing before the first thing is done but like I said maybe an Italian restaurant, you never know.

Favourite piece of life advice…
Enjoy the moment.

Being a local, we have to ask for your favourites…
Beach…Can’t really go past Burleigh because there’s people watching, restaurants, you can have a beer, it’s probably one of the greatest beaches in the world I reckon
Café…Blackboard Coffee is delicious
Restaurant…There’s so many on the Coast at the moment. I love Jimmy Wah’s
Weekend hang…Just going out for lunch, hanging out on Burleigh Hill at the moment. Sounds the same as everyone, do something crazy, take the jet ski out or jump off something high.


Unfortunately, this restaurant has now closed – but you should stick around and check out these other restaurants! Otherwise, check out what replaced tacocat here.

A few weeks ago we leaked the news that Lucas and Erin Schranz, of Easy Street and Luckies Diners‘ fame, were on the verge of opening a sweet new Mexican food venue in Burleigh. Well the time has come friends, tacocat is here, and with it comes all the magical mexi-vibes James Street has been longing for.

Found down a little alleyway just off the main drag, tacocat makes a bold statement painted in the brightest of blue hues (and a smidge of pastel pink for good measure) and a neon sign reading “hustle” lighting the way.

Once inside it’s all about good food, good company and good times. Lucas and Erin, who clearly know a thing or two about running a vibin’ venue, simply wanted to bring the tastiest of Mexican eats, and a little party atmosphere, to the people. And that they did (again).

So the food. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll start with the Fundito Guacamole topped with pork crackle, crispy chicken skin, corn crunch and cheese crisps – taste sensation. There’s also everyone’s (read: ours) favourite mexi-dish, Cheesy Corn Queso Dip which we’ll take by the buckload, thanks. The Kingfish Ceviche, cured with lime and topped with ruby grapefruit and jalapenos, also comes highly recommended (obviously).

For mains grab yourself a Tostada with Cerveza Negra Beef Cheek and pico de gallo or a Taco with green (herbed) chorizo, roast potatoes and avocado verde. Veggie friends look no further than the Zucchini Flower Taco with goats curd, chipotle cream and crispy cheese.

The good folks at tacocat also offer a range of house-created margaritas (yesss) some of which include the likes of smoked honey, habanero chillis and apple cheeks.

Cocktail extraordinaire Rupert has also created some very special non-tequila laden cocktails for those of us who may not be friends with the Mexican specialty spirit. The Flamingo is the go, made with Calle 23 Blanco, strawberry, chipotle, lime and Mexican lager.

If you’re keen for night of Mexican festivities fuelled by some of the best food around, dance your way down to tacocat, you know you want to.

LOCATION: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Wednesday to Friday 5pm until late, Saturday and Sunday 12pm until late

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

The Collective x Balter Brewing

As winter draws to a close, we Gold Coasters begin to feel the thrill of anticipation in the air. Balmy beachside BBQs, sunset swims and epic events appear on the agenda and locals emerge from hibernation refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Enter your favourite Palmy restaurant hub The Collective and local craft beer connoisseurs Balter Brewing Company. In a collaboration of epic proportions, the two will join forces on Sunday September 10th for an afternoon of, you guessed it, food and beer to match.

Eats from all five of The Collective’s kitchens – that’s Luckies Diner, The Italian Job, Umami, Calavera Cantina and The Kitchen – will be paired with boutique beers selected by Balter’s Head Brewer Scotty.

Soon to be your favourite person in the world, Scotty will walk guests through the process behind each beer and, perhaps best of all, you’ll receive a tasting of a limited release beer. Cheers to that.

Oh and guys, a good old fashioned game of heads and tails will decided which one of you lucky ducks will win 24 cases of any Balter packaged product.

We know this event will sell out quick smart. so grab your tickets asap.

Seriously, can you think of a better way to welcome the sweetness of spring? We think not.

This event is sure to be a sell out, so get your tickets here quick sticks!

LOCATION: The Collective Palm Beach, Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
COST: $89 + booking fee – BUY HERE

The Collective Catering

It’s party time in a very literal sense people, The Collective has recently launched a catering service to bring five of the most loved restaurants on the Gold Coast to the people.

Complete with one of the best looking food trucks around (very important because Insta snaps), The Collective Catering offers menus from Luckies Diner, The Italian Job, The Kitchen, Calavera and Umami which means your next event is likely to be one of the most delicious there has ever been.

Whether you’re organising a cocktail party, social soiree, engagement party, wedding or even a corporate do, these guys have got you absolutely covered.

As you’d know, having frequented The Collective in Palm Beach on more than one occasion (obviously) there are about 9,000 delicious dishes to choose from in the way of Asian, Italian, Mexican, American and modern Australian and you are more than welcome to mix and match. Which we highly recommend obviously.

No doubt you’d also know that the team at The Collective are ALL about creating dining experiences to remember their catering service is absolutely no different. Imagine dining under the night sky with a beautifully appointed table and some of the tastiest food you can imagine, all prepared for you so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Just imagine – everything is lovingly prepared and served fresh and hot onsite to your guests. They’ll even provide all the glassware, crockery, cutlery and a killer service team so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the good times! Sounds like a dream right come true.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a party without a fully stocked bar and one of the best bartenders around – so yep, you get that too. The Collective Catering team will keep the drinks topped up and the party flowing all night long.

Menus start from $65 per person and two-hour drinks packages start from $35 per person, based on a minimum of 100 people. They can however, cater from 50 people and up.

Get on it gang, there are many good times on the way and guess what, summer is coming right up!

Bring. It. On.

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