The coronavirus outbreak hits the hospitality industry right where it hurts the most. It’s one of the oldest professions, it is the glue of society, a salve in times of trouble and a place of celebration in times of joy.
But we are in crazy times right now. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday morning that there is a ban, effective immediately, on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 or more people, in addition to the previously announced ban on non-essential gatherings on 500 and more people.
They are also stressing the need for social distancing to be implemented within indoor gatherings of less than 100 people, which will have implications for bars — what they are yet, we are still to find out — the state and territory governments are, the Prime Minister said, working through just how these new rules will be applied and enforced.
At Australian Bartender, we love our bars, and we have compiled a list of some of Australia’s finest venues and the ways you can support them online, whether that is by picking up a voucher, stocking your wardrobe with some ace bar swag, or picking up some make at home cocktail kits.
Every little bit counts.
We know not every bar has the means to be delivering bottled cocktails around the place, but there may be a solution for Sydney-based bars. Andy Harris is a long-term drinks industry professional who these days owns and operates Motus Trasnport, a Sydney-based transport company that specialises in moving cider and craft beer. They’ve got some 16 vehicles in the Sydney area and a large warehouse in Botany, and Harris has offered their help. “We have told all of our craft breweries we will deliver door to door for them… and can help do deliveries of batched cocktails etc.,” he says. If you’re in Sydney, you can find out more by contacting Harris directly at Andy@motustransport.com.au to find out more.
We’re going to keep adding to this list, with another post in the works for later in the week, so if your bar has an online shop or a way to email for merch or vouchers or — like Charlie Lehmann from Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern has offered, in home visits from overall-wearing bartenders — please email Sam Bygrave at email@example.com with a link, some info, and hey, maybe a photo too.
We know it is Sydney-heavy at the minute, so if you’re from interstate please do get in touch.
In the meantime, we’ll keep plugging away and profiling the great work the bars and bartenders of Australia do to give the greatest damn hospitality in the world.
Get a look at some of the merch on offer below.
- The great Far North Queensland knows how to stay tropical at all times. The folks at Cairns tiki haven, Flamingos Tiki Bar, have got a bunch of crisp white tees and hats — visit their online merch store at https://www.flamingostikibar.com.au/shop.
- Made In The Shade is one of Melbourne’s very best hospitality groups, and they’re getting ready to supply your ‘Happy Hour at Home.’ (The best part of that is, there’s no liquor licensing getting in the way of your very own private happy hour). To do this, Bar Margaux is offering French-style family meals prepared fresh and delivered to your door in Melbourne by the Margaux team. The Everleigh Bottling Co. are offering Happy Hour At Home cocktail hampers, direct to your door in Melbourne, with all the trimmings: garnishes for your Martini, and the world class block ice from Navy Strength Ice Co. And Connie’s Pizza are bringing their deliveries in-house — all the better to keep staff on the books. Maybe you might like to brush up on your classic cocktail knowledge? A Spot at the Bar is one of the best books on the business you can find, and written by the Madrusans themselves. You can get these and more (there’s a bunch of vouchers you can pick up to gift and show your support) available at madeintheshadegroup.com.au.
- Unlike what we’re seeing in places like liberally-minded New York, where it seems bars are allowed to sell takeaways, most small bars in Australia don’t get to do that. But Isabel in Bondi has found a way around it, by selling cocktail kits to customers for delivery or takeaway — all you’ve got to do is add your own booze. Deliveries will be done in-house, says owner Kate McGraw, to keep their people in jobs. “We’re in the process of setting up a phone line and online ordering – we’ll be doing the delivery in house to keep our people in jobs,” she says. “We’re also going to take orders via social media with somebody monitoring all our channels between 3pm and 9pm daily.” You can email McGraw directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
- Sydney small bar Papa Gede’s Bar has an online shop at the website — http://www.papagedes.com/new-products — where you can pick up a tee, or one (why not make it two!) of their custom-made tiki mugs. (You know you want to set things on fire right now).
- The benefits of having a bottleshop connected to your bar are really coming into view right now, no? Mr West in Melbourne — the 2018 Best Specialty Beer Venue at the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards — are one such lucky venue, and you can order hooch direct from them at https://mrwest.com.au. “For those who are staying home, we are now offering free shipping for all beer and wine orders over $100 for anyone in the Melbourne Metro region when you use the code FREESHIPMELB on top of our standard nationwide free shipping for all orders over $200. We also offer an awesome selection of booze bundles and beer and wine subscriptions which can be found in the link below: http://bit.ly/GoodBoozeProject”
- Newcastle small bar — and tiki rum haven — Blue Kahunas are diving into the out-of-bar, into-home experience, says co-owner Byron Marzinotto. “We’ve decided to help ends meet at Blue Kahunas [and] to offer at home private cocktail classes practicing safe hygiene and social distancing, we too like other small businesses have to adapt to the next few months to hopefully be able to pay our team and bills. Cocktail classes ranging from 1-5 friends, any requests we’ll make work. Even if upi’re looking for a private bartender to make bangin’ cocktails for an evening at home, we can assist. We also have gift vouchers for sale if looking to support us over this period by paying it forward and we’ll be slingin’ cocktails again in no time. Please email email@example.com or call 0427370072. Any support will go a long way in helping us keep us and our team afloat,” he says.
- Proof BBQ & Booze in Brisbane has an online shop where, yes, you can usually pick up a tee (they’re currently out of stock), but also where, if you’re planning for the long haul, you can pre-order your very own Proof BBQ/Maker’s Mark drum smoker, which includes everything you need to get smoking meat — it’s just going to set you back $1,499. In the meantime, you can support them by picking up a gift voucher through the site. Visit proofbbq.com for more.
- The Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern and Double Deuce Lounge crew are well known for their tees (we’re writing this wearing ours right now), and they’ve just released a brand new Double Deuce Tee, with sizes Small to XXL still available for $40, says co-owner Charlie Lehmann. Their Rascal Tees are available for $45 in Small, XL and XXL too. “People can also buy me,” says Lehmann. “I’ll come to their house with a case of Emu Export and just shoot the shit or do whatever they wanna do — $100.” To order, email them at Charlie@ramblinrascal.com or DM them through social media on either @ramblinrascaltavern or @doubledeucelounge.
- Sample Coffee. Just because we’re living through a zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you should suffer shitty coffee. If you’re Sydney-based, you might like to start a coffee subscription service like the one that Sample Coffee offers — $23.80 every two or four weeks for fresh roasted coffee selected by roaster and owner Rebuen Mardan (whom you can read about in this story here we published back in 2014). https://samplecoffee.com.au/plans
- Perhaps you’re practicing social distancing, perhaps you’re in self-isolation for the good of the community. It doesn’t mean you have to look bad, though. You can smell good, too (those locked in with you will appreciate it). Hit up the online shop of Sydney’s multi-award winning gin bar, The Barber Shop, and you’ll find a range of grooming products, colognes and perfumes, accessories and gift vouchers to the bar or barbers. Let’s be honest, if you’re washing your hands like you have OCD, you could do worse than using Enright’s Original Gin Liquid Hand Soap, $35. Visit https://thisisthebarbershop.com/shop-categories/ for more.
- The Speakeasy Group, which operates the Eau de Vie, Mjolner, Nick & Nora’s and Boilermaker House venues, have a range of products available online, whether that be gift vouchers for each of the venues, or viking-inspired Mjolner swag (anyone for a viking tiki mug — visit here https://mjolner.com.au/melbourne/merchandise) and the Eau de Vie cocktail book is available if you’re looking for some cocktailing inspiration right here.