Death and Taxes. Nothing in this world is as certain, so the saying goes. It’s an appropriate name for a new bar from Martin Lange, whose Brisbane venues tend to have the same sort of absolutism about them: the slickest fit-outs, the longest spirits lists, the best bartenders. Step into Cobbler, Savile Row or Finney Isles, and you’re stepping into three of the best boozers on Australia’s east coast.
It’s been a busy year for Lange. He and business partners Trent Goodwin and Kahn Millis already opened Finney Isles in October to offset the overflow of the always heaving Savile Row. That opening coincided with his honeymoon after he married long-term girlfriend Wiebke.
On top of all that, Lange was busy securing the lease for Death and Taxes in the CBD’s Burnett Lane. This time around, Lange is teaming up with Wiebke and long-time friend Blake Ward, with whom he co-owned the long-departed (and fondly remembered) Sling Lounge in West End.
The CBD has always been on Lange’s radar, even looking for sites in the area around the time he opened Cobbler in 2013. Back then, though, the “rent was always too high”.
So despite the crazy timing, when the landlord of a tiny brick bunker on Burnett Lane reached out to Lange to discuss a possible new bar at the right price, he and his business partners jumped at the opportunity.
“They really liked Savile Row, and they wanted to do something like that here,” Lange says.
Much like Savile and Finny Isles, what attracted the Langes and Ward to this one was the history. “We did some research on the lane," Lange says. "It’s from 1824, and is the oldest laneway in the Brisbane … We realised as well that the back room is heritage-listed [and] has 100-year-old floors.”
The intention is to sand back and restore the floors, and expose more of the venue’s brick walls. They'll also bring in booth seating and create an eight-metre-long back bar with about 800 bottles stacked up to the four-metre-high ceiling.
In that sense, Death and Taxes will be in the same vein as Lange’s other venues: an extensive back bar and cocktail list with a sizeable wine offering. The cocktails will be developed by bar manager Sam Trippet, who has worked with Lange for more than two years and has a small stake in the venue.
Death and Taxes is due to open late February 2019.
Death and Taxes
36 Burnett Lane, Brisbane