“It has been massively challenging but also massively rewarding,” says Pete Ehemann. He’s talking about the process involved in setting up The Cumberland, a speakeasy cocktail bar a street back from the beach in the Sydney suburb of Manly — the first time he’s had a piece of a bar himself.
Tatler can plausibly lay claim to a couple of Sydney firsts — it was perhaps the first Sydney small bar, and it enjoyed a reputation for being the most exclusive bar in Sydney with its clientele of regulars drawn from Sydney’s music, media and arts in-crowd.
In 1898 the streets of New York were ripe with vice; Gotham was in the grip of a burgeoning trade in brothels. A letter that year to The New York Times described hotels “where rustic beaus are fleeced and rustic belles debauched,” and a casual walk to church could see a man “accosted by a leering drunken woman.”
This little Melbourne gem has been drumming up some noise for a few months already and if you’re heading down for a stiff drink then you’re sure to find something that suits. The venue’s soft moody lighting and inviting atmosphere is a good match for the simple interior aesthetic and there are rows of intimate tables, a bar to perch on and an outdoor area set underneath clear skies and street graffiti.
This wee cocktail volume comes from owners of New York’s hugely successful Employees Only – a modern speakeasy style venue. With Dale DeGroff and David Wondrich having written the forward and afterword respectively you can be sure that this book is of fine pedigree.