When Eli Rami and Sam Holman were preparing to open their Paddington coffee spot, Blackout, in 2019, they noticed the area was calling out for a wine bar.

“People would pop their heads in and ask, ‘Hey, is this going to be a wine bar?’” Rami recalls. “Sam said to me, ‘I can’t believe how many people thought it was going to be a wine bar.’ I said, ‘You know what we’re going to do? [We’re going to open] a wine bar.’”

A wine bar in this area makes complete sense, too. Apart from a number of restaurants with quality wine lists (such as Elementi, Nota and Hope and Anchor), and a wine store (Embassy Cellars), there aren’t any dedicated wine bars in Paddington. And it helps that the pair has already developed a solid local following through Blackout.

“We always wanted to [open Noir] in Paddington with the reputation and following we have [built through Blackout],” Rami says.

“And we know the customers here,” Holman adds.

Noir will open in mid-May inside former clothing store Maiocchi on Given Terrace. So far, the fit-out is still in the early stages but there’s lots of exposed brick, white paint and dark green accents. Once complete, the multi-level space will feature a temperature-controlled, glass-enclosed wine cellar and a private dining room downstairs; a large tiled bar on the ground level; upstairs seating with a record player spinning vinyl; and an outdoor dining area.

As well as Blackout, Rami and Holman are behind coffee roaster The Black Lab, and have opened numerous cafes including Wolfgang Specialty Coffee in Spring Hill and The New Black in Fortitude Valley (they’ve since sold both). Holman most recently opened Uh-Oh Spaghettio and Uh Oh Bottle-O & Wine Bar in Bakery Lane with his partner Samantha Fitzpatrick.

Embassy Cellars’ manager Shanon Simpson is consulting on the initial wine list. At this stage, the plan is to keep it tight with regular change-ups. Rami says they might get three bottles of something and once it runs out, it runs out. There will be mix of Aussie and old-world drops, and an overall focus on minimal intervention. Expect to find producers such as Latta, Brave New Wine, Foradori and Gerard Duplessis.

A small larder kitchen will serve charcuterie and cheese, as well as some boutique products (including caviar) when they’re in season. Rami and Holman will work closely with local producers and distributers such as Saison Salumi, Fino Foods and Lady Truffle.

Noir will open at 216 Given Terrace in mid-May.