Every Friday and Saturday night, there's a line of people waiting to get into Savile Row. Such is the popularity of the Fortitude Valley cocktail bar, perhaps it was only a matter of time before co-owners Martin Lange, Trent Goodwin and Kahn Millis considered opening a second venue in the area.
On the weekend the idea became a reality, the trio unveiling Finny Isles across the road from Savile Row on the corner of Ann and Warner streets.
“[Savile Row] has a 100 [person] capacity and it generally fills out,” says Dominic Xavier, bar manager for Finney Isles. “Having [Finney Isles] here, we can make sure everyone is getting a drink and not having to wait too long.”
Savile Row’s DNA is all over Finney. Lange (who also co-owns Cobbler in West End) loves the idea of escapism and hiding his venues in plain sight. Savile Row is recognisable only by a bright-orange door. At Finney Isles, the front door is a cool blue.
The space and the name Finney Isles hark back to its history as a drapery in the mid-1800s. More recently a dive bar called The Rattler, the space has been completely gutted and transformed into a charismatic 50-seat boozer with long leather couches and parquet floors. Windows overlooking Warner Street let in plenty of natural light during the day, the glow of the surrounding club district gives things a giddy vibe at night.
While Savile Row is focused on a huge back bar of spirits, Finney Isles has tilted its offering more towards wine. The rotating list features around 14 wines by the glass from natural and biodynamic producers. There’s also a concise charcuterie menu featuring cheeses, jamon iberico and prosciutto.
“This is the first venue [where] we’re offering food,” Xavier says. “The idea is to capture the pre-dinner crowd, and that’s bolstered by our stronger focus on wine here.” The venue is going all-in on the idea, opening early on Sundays to capture the grazing crowd.
Other than wine, the bar offers 16 cocktails, seven beers on tap, a house spritz on tap, and a number of spirits, including a strong focus on gins.
“There’s been a bit of chat in the industry, people saying, ‘Oh you’re opening a gin bar’.” Xavier says. “No, [it’s] a normal bar that highlights good service and good product in a relaxed environment.”
702 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Wed & Thu 5pm–1am
Fri & Sat 5pm–2am