Earlier this year, Simon Martin closed his popular Burnett Lane bar, Super Whatnot, which had become a go-to spot for knock-off drinks and a rotating list of DJs for the post-work CBD crowd. That crowd will feel right at home at Martin’s new venue, Flying Colours, which opened in West End earlier this month.
While some of the furniture (and staff) have moved across from the old venue, don’t be mistaken: Flying Colours is a very different proposition. It feels like a grown-up version of Super Whatnot, with a greater focus on the food and wine offering. Former Gerard’s Bistro executive chef, Adam Wolfers, consulted on the menu, working closely with head chef Andrew Birse (ex-The Long Apron and E’cco Bistro).
Expect snacks like hash browns topped with smoked mullet roe and egg salad; smoked mussels on toast with almond cream; and a hot dog with smoked pork cheek frankfurt and mustard. More substantial plates might include dishes like pork cotteleto with winter greens, and steak frites. To drink, venue manager Chris Rose is behind a natural-friendly wine list featuring producers such as Konpira Maru, No Mountain and Adlib Wine. There’s a clutch of craft beer taps such as Yulli’s Brews and Land and Seaand a concise eight-option cocktail offering.
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For the fit-out Martin called on architects Marc & Co, who previously won awards for Super Whatnot’s timeless decor. Housed in the former Wandering Cooks warehouse, it’s a bigger space with several different areas within the venue. “It doesn’t feel like one big room,” Martin tells Broadsheet. “There are different areas you can enjoy.”
The courtyard is filled with greenery and pastel hues; while inside the venue has a darker, moody feel. There’s an area with booth seating and a spinning disco ball, and another section with a lounge and low-set timber tables. A rotating roster of DJs will play from Friday to Sunday, while bar staff will spin tunes from the extensive house record collection during the week. Expect more chilled-out beats than electronic dance music.
Impressive speakers were hand-built in Tasmania by bespoke audio outfit Pitt & Giblin, who flew up to ensure the correct insulation was applied to the walls, the bar and the ceiling to maximise the acoustic quality. “[Pitt & Giblin] wanted the speakers to sound the way they are intended to sound,” says Martin. “It’s great because the music is clear, but you can still talk.”
63 Vulture Street, West End
Wed & Thu 4pm–late