By Paul Wootton

Sydney's legendary tequila bar Café Pacifico has closed its doors to customers for the very last time. 

Owner Phil Bayly told TheShout that rent increases and "problems with the roof" had left him with little choice but to call time on the 16-year-old institution. "After 18 months of negotiation we have decided to walk away rather than be locked into an untenable situation," he said.

He added there were "no immediate plans" to relaunch the bar on a different site. "My main objective is to get out of our current situation as quickly and cleanly as possible," he said. "I intend to focus on continuing to help build the tequila category through training and awareness of products coming in to the market; and on expanding and revising my website,"

Bayly's connection with the Café Pacifico brand began in 1979, when he painted a mural in the original Café Pacifico bar in Amsterdam. He and Pacifico founder Tom Estes became friends and in 1997 Bayly opened Pacifico's Australian outpost. Since then, Café Pacifico Sydney has won a slew of awards, with Bayly establishing himself as Australia's leading authority on tequila.

Posting on Facebook on Monday, Bayly wrote: "The main thing that has made Pacifico Sydney so special is the staff who have worked there and the clientele who have embraced the concept and added their own personalities to the place."

A final invite-only industry bash took place at the venue on Tuesday night. It is thought the site on Riley Street, Darlinghurst, will now be turned into apartments. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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