Red Bull Music Academy’s magazine has a great story on the storied old Melbourne nightclub, Honkytonks. As the article by Nick Connellan points out, in the spot where Honkytonks once resided there is now an Indian restaurant, called Tonka: “It’s typical of the city: new, upmarket, pricey. Totally hidden unless you know it’s there. Achingly cool, then.”
It must be a pretty good time to be a rum importer right now — one might even go as far as saying that 2013 turned out to be the year of the rum bar. And back in February (and also in Fitzroy) came this cracking new rum joint, The Rum Diary Bar.
It looks like this is the month when the rum switch got flicked! From the team that brought you such bars as Lily Blacks and Mr Wow’s Emporium (see our December issue on that), comes a new bar that draws on all things Cuba, Los Barbudos…
Brought to you by owners Aaron Whitney and Andy Emans (of Melbourne’s Murmur fame), the delightfully hipster-looking menu lists its beer sections as “A little bit of Punch”, “Cidery Goodness”, “Drink it all Night”, and “The only light beer”. They even have a section devoted to longnecks, called “Just a couple”. Indeed.
This Saturday night marks the rebirth of the site upon which Melbourne cocktailing institution, Der Raum, once stood. While Der Raum is moving to Munich, Bar Economico is being raised in its place. “The site is too special to me to sell,” said owner, Matt Bax, “so I wanted to give it a new life and it needed to be different to get away from the shadow of Der Raum.”
Why someone hasn’t come up with this sooner is beyond us. Sure you could go out, have a cocktail, nibble on some entrees, get some mains and share a bottle of wine before moving onto the cheese plate — but why bother? Life is short, screw dessert; get me some cheese and booze.
We broke the news in our November issue that celebrated Wellington operator, Christian McCabe, was setting up shop in Melbourne. His new venue, The Town Mouse, opened just before Easter in Carlton, on the old Embrasse site. McCabe has teamed up with his sister, Amber McCabe (Longrain) and Jay Comesky of Melbourne’s St Ali to run the front of house.
Here’s a charitable idea we can get behind: head to new Melbourne bar, Shebeen, buy a beer like Tusker (which is from Kenya) and see the profits from the sale of said beer go to help Kenyan farmers get access to tools, education and insurance so that they can get out of hunger.
Ireland’s top bartender, the Kiwi-born Hayden Lambert, is moving to Melbourne to take on the head bartender role at Matt Bax’s Bar Americano.
Think Lui Bar and you’ll probably think that Skipper Josh has been at it again, or some other brave soul is testing the waters of tiki mania. But if you’re looking at the pictures on this page, you might be wondering if he’s a bit confused.