By Sacha Delfosse – editor bars&clubs
The team behind Melbourne café Hot Poppy has extended its reach into the realm of cocktails with the launch of a new bar called Joe Taylor.
Located in North Melbourne, the bar has at the helm former Toff in Town bartender Daniel Monk, along with Pita Dixon (ex Charlies Bar) and Dan Mason (ex Cookie).
Monk describes the small bar, which has a capacity for 75 people, as “classic and casual” with high calibre drinks.
“The bar itself is really just a glorified table, so it does feel like you’re sitting and sharing the experience with the bartender,” said Monk.
Instead of opting for a “big bang” launch Monk said the bar had instead been growing its customer base slowly and organically week to week.
“The response has been great, with it getting busier day after day and a steady supply of regulars returning. At Joe Taylor we hope that the people that come looking for us can enjoy a drink fitting for them without feeling like they don't belong. At the moment we are usually full of young professionals sipping on Martinis and Negronis,” he said.
Because the venue was originally developed and opened for a pop up event, Monk said the bar’s fit out is “slowly evolving”, with the site’s former history being one of the influences to its design.
“After trawling through local gazettes of the late 1800s we found that the venue was quite a prominent department store back in its day. We are trying to keep true to how it was but with a more minimalist stance, you won't feel like you have stepped into a time capsule, but we hope the drinkers feel the energy of the last few centuries while sitting at the bar.”
The drinks selection is also in its early days of development, but has a French influence with the bar ranging spirits such as absinth(e)s, pastis, cognacs, armagnacs, calvados and other specialty brandies.
“We also have an ever changing cocktail list inspired heavily by classic drinks, a craft brew list and a balanced wine list,” said Monk.
One of the highlights of Joe Taylor’s offer is the bar’s weekly Waking the Dead event, which is held every Sunday from 10am and includes freshly shucked oysters as well as ten different Bloody Mary variations on the menu.