Pancho is on the move. The Ballarat favourite - serving South American street food and cocktails - has outgrown its home on Armstrong Street. "We're running out of space here," owner Jose Fernandez said. "We need a bigger space to fit in everyone." READ MORE: Pancho brings Ballarat the flavour of South America Conveniently, Mr Fernandez acquired a building around the corner on Mair Street, and work is well-under way to fit it out in preparation for a planned opening at the end of this year or beginning of the next. According to plans submitted to the City of Ballarat for a liquor licence, the new Pancho will feature two storeys of dining, almost doubling its current capacity to 180 patrons. The application notes the building, at 211 Mair Street, had previously been a restaurant, Cincottas Cafe and Bar, with plans showing space for a function kitchen upstairs and outdoor dining out the front. "It'll reform the kitchen to do more traditional dishes like charcoal chicken," Mr Fernandez said. "We have a char grill in Pancho, but it was designed more for takeaway food and quick dinners." Mr Fernandez, who also owns the Spanish restaurant Meigas, said the area had changed rapidly. "When we moved Meigas (to Armstrong Street), there weren't many places to eat there, but it got very popular, a lot more places opening," he said. "Armstrong Street connects to Mair Street, and there's Lydiard Street, it's becoming the centre of Ballarat with all the entertainment." Before the new Pancho opens, Mr Fernandez said he would return home to South America - raised in Venezuela, the goal is to give diners an authentic experience, and he's hoping to find more flavours, liquors, and beer "you cannot find here in Australia". "I'm very picky about the quality of the food we make, and it's very traditional, I don't like a dish from a recipe from the internet - I want it to be the most similar or accurate to what people are cooking in the street," he said. IN THE NEWS "It's all about feelings - when we're cooking in Pancho, people come in, they travel to Venezuela or Columbia, they have the dishes and it feels like they're there, the environment, the flavour, the look, it all connects back to South America." Pancho opened in July 2019, and was exceptionally successful through parking challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mair Street strip has had a hospitality revival in recent years, with fine dining and cocktail bars, plans to expand Campana's on the Armstrong Street corner and a new burger joint on the Lydiard Street corner, and refreshed French and coffee offerings. Have you tried The Courier's app? It can be downloaded here.