Story by Tom Scott, Brand Ambassador for The Exchange. You can follow him on insta @capt_t_scott
What do you get when you take a couple of boys from the big smoke and send them down the coast to the Mornington Peninsula? A great combination of warm and friendly hospitality, an impressive range of beers and whiskey, classic American bar food, and toe-tappin’ country tunes from the jukebox. Deadwood, which opened in late 2022, is a well-balanced mix of the Australian coast, Americana, and Melbourne cocktail culture.
Bringing this venue to life are hospitality veterans Dan Green, Liam Watt and Lino Scidone (owner, La Camera, Counting House Bar and Grill). Together the three mates used to run Waterslide Bar in Melbourne’s Southbank.
Q&A: I sat down with Liam (pictured above right) over a few chicken wings, whiskies, and a frothy beer to hear about his new venue.
How long have you been in the industry?
The three of us have been in the industry for quite a while, Liam 15 years, Dan for 10 years and Lino an industry veteran himself. We have worked in all aspects of the industry giving us a plethora of knowledge to move forward with.
Where did you and Dan meet?
We both worked alongside each other side by side for nearly five years at our sister venue Waterslide Bar, where we found our ‘ying and yang’ management style.
“We both love country music, whiskey and Americana culture. Sitting at a big timber bar, sipping on a cold beer whilst tapping your feet to a bit of country, what’s not to like? It’s an environment where anyone can come in and feel welcome.” – Liam Watt
Why a Saloon style bar?
We both love country music, whiskey and Americana culture. Sitting at a big timber bar, sipping on a cold beer whilst tapping your feet to a bit of country, what’s not to like? It’s an environment where anyone can come in and feel welcome. Rain, hail or shine the venue is a great space to be in.
What is the most important thing when opening a new venue?
All parties involved, including owners, partners, staff, and chefs need to have a clear vision of what they wish to create. Having a sound understanding of the hospitality industry and how to keep the wheels turning is also very important. Having a few tradie mates to help with construction always helps!
Favourite source of inspiration?
For our cocktail program, we both love to cook, so we derive a lot of our inspiration from cooking in our day-to-day lives. Using different techniques to pull different qualities out of ingredients is a method which we dabble with daily. As for other aspects of the venue, just keeping up to date with current trends ensures the customers are always having a new experience.
Six months later, how is the bar going?
The reception we have received from locals and tourists alike has been fantastic. Customers are really getting into the Americana theme with American whiskey being some of our highest sellers. We’ve had solid trade throughout the week and banging weekends have been consistent since opening. The jukebox is getting a workout, with punters playing their country favourites from open to close. We couldn’t be happier with the decision to open up on the Mornington Peninsula
355 Point Nepean Rd, Dromana VIC
MON / TUES: CLOSED
WEDNESDAY: 4PM TIL 1OPM
THURSDAY: 4PM TIL 10PM
FRIDAY: 3PM TIL 11PM
SATURDAY: 12PM TIL 11PM
SUNDAY: 12PM TIL LATE