Maura Lawrence Milia of Connaught Bar and Alex Lawrence Milia of Mr Lyan group will move to Mexico to team up with Walter Meyenburg of Hanky Panky and form the Mexico City-based bar group MWA.
The announcement, published in Class' sister title Drinks International yesterday, arrives a week after news that Maura Lawrence Milia would be departing The Connaught in March, after a decade at the two-time world’s best bar.
MWA represents the first permanent professional collaboration between the married pair, while new partner Meyenburg is the owner of Mexico City based Brujas (no. 47 in North America's 50 Best Bars) and Hanky Panky (no.22 in The World’s 50 Best Bars).
Maura Lawrence Milia told DI: “Our conversations with Walter started a year ago. At first, it was kind of a joke, I wasn’t ready then and [Alex and I] weren’t in the right mindset but we all kept talking and Walter kept coming up with more ideas, he’s like a hurricane.
"In the end, it was a very natural process, it was like a calling. Alex and I had a conversation and I realised that I’m at a time in my life and career where I’m ready for a big move.”
Alex Lawrence Milia, who will remain managing director and co-owner of Mr Lyan group, added: “It's gonna be difficult, but I'm no stranger to wearing a couple of hats. I’ve already been doing Lyan alongside Porter’s and Whitebox, and now I’ll really be there for key creative events - menu development, marketing strategy, and to be honest just spending a lot of time with Ryan [Chetiyawardana] making sure we’re happy with the direction of everything.
"A lot of my time is going to be focused here, in terms of physical hours, 90% will be dedicated to MWA and the rest will be about clear communication, adding value where I can, and honestly, getting out of the way because we have so many talented people."
MWA is yet to reveal the specifics of its upcoming projects, but multiple venues are expected.