The Cloakroom Bar is unlike anything else in town. The fact there were so many hurdles in getting it open is proof of that.
“There was a bit of a delay,” says manager Michael Pattison, who had hoped to open the bar at the end of August. “This is a venue that’s a bit different to the rest of Brisbane. We had issues. [There was] a lot of red tape we had to jump through.”
The Cloakroom Bar experience begins by turning down an alleyway off Elizabeth Street and spotting a bouncer at the bottom of a fire escape. Follow him upstairs to a door, where you’re greeted by a maitre’d.
You’ll be seated and offered a hot or cold towel depending on the weather. Then you’ll receive a complimentary palate cleanser, such as Margaret River rosé with a dash of yuzu soda. Next, you’ll be asked a few questions by the bar staff.
“Usually we ask what you feel like, your preferences and what you usually drink,” Pattison says. “Then we’re able to get enough information out of that to be able to go back and create something.”
It’s the kind of exacting, bespoke service you would expect from Louis Ialenti and Andrew Byrne, the co-owners behind suiting shop, The Cloakroom. The pair also runs a similar suit shop-bar hybrid in Montreal – called The Maison Cloakroom – which has proven popular.
The bar was previously used as part of the suit shop. A former employee turned architect, Josh Kim, worked with Pattison to design the space. It’s dimly lit with candles, featuring dark curtains and black-and-white photos. There’s also a larger outdoor space and a couple of more intimate areas – a four-person spot in what was once a change room and a larger private section designed for 10–12 people.
Pattison likes to say the bar serves cocktails with a “twist”. The twist depends on the flavour preferences they pick up from the discussion with the customer. The bar staff is able to use house-made flavour concentrates, such as lavender, beetroot, vanilla and Christmas spice, to customise the drinks.
Other than cocktails, the bar serves a rotating selection of two bottled beers, two reds, two whites, two rosés, a prosecco and a few champagnes.
The Cloakroom Bar
1/215 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City
Wed to Sun 5pm–late