Mystery bar number 58
It's been a while since my last mystery bar, which as I confirmed shortly afterwards in my wheat beer roundup, was of course the new Malthouse. It's getting harder to find bars that are obscure enough to offer a challenge, so I hope today's will be a little more mysterious.
It's definitely in a place that's hard to find, and where a bar would be very unexpected. It's a bit of a stretch to call it a "bar", since it's clearly more of a café or restaurant, but then it does call itself a "café and bar" and it even has cocktail specials on a Friday night. It's hard to imagine this place really getting raucous, and the clientèle seem like they should be far too sensible for that sort of thing anyway.
It's in a space that has a lot of inherent character, with its high-raftered ceiling, brick walls and interesting views, but it seems like the designers have gone out of their way to neutralise that character with blandly corporate décor. Judging by the proportion of customers wearing suits and talking on cellphones, though, that's no doubt deliberate and highly appropriate. But if they're serious about being a bar, they really ought to come up with a more interesting selection of drinks and get some snappier service. A bar in a place like this could conceivably work quite nicely, but it's quite an ambitious move, and I don't see it taking off without a better point of difference.