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Backroom launches in South Yarra

Backroom, a hidden gem tucked away on Melbourne’s famed Toorak Road, will launch on 1 July offering a space for a post dinner tipple, late-night snack, or cocktail. We were invited along for the preview launch and enjoyed high level cocktails and a great vibe.

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Adjoining Latin-influenced Lona Misa restaurant, the venue will be led by Ovolo Hotel’s group creative culinary director Ian Curley (who we met at the launch); group creative drinks director Andrea Gualdi (ex. Maybe Sammy); Lona Misa’s executive chef Isa Raku and bar manager Jordan Tredennick.

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With entry via a discrete concrete door on Toorak Road (next door to Lona Misa on street level), identified only by a singular neon martini glass sign, Backroom is a 45-seat underground venue created as a space for collaboration, innovation and takeovers with flair. Be it a specific drink, region, brand or event, Backroom will open every Friday and Saturday evening as a space to showcase the finest artisans purveying the best liquid prescriptions from Australia and around the world.

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Of the launch, Andrea Gualdi says: “We’re lucky enough to work with leading innovative minds in the beverage industry, and so with the launch of Backroom we wanted to flip the concept of a bar on its head, providing a platform for these brands to shine. The product comes first and sets our team the exciting creative challenge of reinventing our food and beverage menus with each new collaboration, drawing inspiration from what these brands are all about - their unique flavour profiles, heritage and ethos. We couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off than with an all-Australian lineup from Feels Botanical, Regal Rogue & CAPI”.

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Backroom will launch on Friday 1 July, debuting its first collaboration concept - an ‘All-Australian Takeover’ with quintessentially Australian beverage brands Feels Botanical, Regal Rogue & CAPI. A sensorial journey through flavour, colour, texture and sound, the month-long takeover will highlight the versatility of Australian produce through a boundary-pushing snack and drink menu. 

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Of the collaboration, co-founder of Feels,  Blake Vanderfield-Kramer says: “This concept is all about showcasing not only the quality, but also the versatility of these all-Australian products and ingredients. Each cocktail has been designed to let one hero brand shine, be it Regal Rogue, Feels or CAPI, with the other brands becoming equally delicious supporting acts, for a final product that is well-balanced and packed with delicious all-Australian flavours. Andrea and the team take a boundary pushing approach to everything they do, and this venue is no different, so it’s been a great experience to work with them on something really unique in Melbourne. Sustainably focussed, occasion-based drinking with some creative flair – we’re excited for people to check it out”.

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Highlights from the cocktail menu include; a Regal Rogue Wild Rose Ricky (Regal Rogue Wild Rose, Feels Vivify, Capi Soda), a Feels Botanical Vivifying Martini (Feels Vivify, Regal Rogue Lively White, Orange Bitters), a Red Ricky highball (Regal Rogue Bold Red, Feels Vivify, Topped with Capi Grapefruit and Rosemary Soda Water) and Regal Revel Negroni (Feels Revel, Campari, Regal Rogue Bold Red, Orange Bitters).

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As part of Ovolo Hotel Group’s Plant’d initiative, Backroom will showcase an entirely vegetarian menu aligned to the brand’s ongoing pledge to ethical eating, conscious cuisine and cutting-edge veg. The ever-changing menu will be curated drawing inspiration from the venue’s ongoing roster of collaborators; with highlights from the all-Australian takeover menu including: Potato bread served with Feels Botanical Revel & Vegemite butter with shitake anchovies; Fried artichoke hearts served with with Calabrian chilli pesto and Feels Botanical Vivify pickled rockmelon; Haloumi doughnuts with Feels Botanical Rousse, hibiscus and morita chilli jam; and Fontina pizza with white onion, Regal Rose Daring Dry, truffle mushroom duxelles and sage. We experienced this tasty menu at the launch and it hit the high notes.

Backroom Bar has been designed by interior design & architecture studio, Luchetti Krelle (also responsible for the design of the adjoining Lona Misa and Ovolo South Yarra, in which both Lona Misa and Backroom are based).

Backroom will be located at 234 Toorak Rd, South Yarra. Backroom’s will debut with its all-Australian takeover in collaboration with Feels Botanical, CAPI and Regal Rogue on Friday 1 July, running every Friday and Saturday evening from 4.30pm throughout the month.

Address: 234 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC Instagram: @backroom3141

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Backroom Takeover #1 - the all-Australian lineup

Born on the ancient, wild and fertile Australian continent, Feels Botanical embraces the wonders of its natural home to deliver a holistic drinking experience and a creative platform that is expressive, inclusive and unadulterated. They take a progressive approach towards ancient apothecary wisdom to deliver a unique range of Australian crafted botanical Eau De Vie Grape Spirit, each of which are distilled with their own collection of three sustainably sourced and natural botanicals to create a harmony of flavours that compliment a spectrum of moods and occasions. @feelsbotanical

CAPI is a 100% Australian owned brand, crafting every product in Victoria, Australia. With some of the world’s purest mineral water and produce in our own backyard, CAPI have never needed to look overseas or add anything artificial to their mixers and mineral waters in their ten years. @capisparkling

An Australian wine Aperitif that is for the weekend brunch, the never-ending lunch or watching the world go by during evenings on the terrace, Regal Rogue has blown the dust off the old vermouth expressions and brought it into a tantalising new-world style. Regal Rogue have a range of four wine aperitif expressions that blend Australian organic wine with indigenous botanicals that elevate the everyday moments. @regalrogue