With a puffed chest and fanned tail feathers, Henry overlooks Fortitude Valley’s newest wine bar and gin palace. “He was very expensive but I just couldn't walk past him,” says owner Darren Davis, laughing about the antique taxidermy peacock. “He looks like a Henry. There's no [other] logic in that whatsoever.”
The stuffed bird is the signature change for the venue’s transition from moody wine bar Grape Therapy to fresh and fun Proud Henry. Davis cites confusion between the CBD and Fortitude Valley Grape Therapy bars as reason for the change. “We were getting people rocking up to the wrong venue for events,” he says. “We just wanted to redirect our focus and have a bit more fun with gin. Gin is big at the moment.”
Currently, there are nearly 100 gins behind the bar, with venue manager Carmen Hartwich adding more each week. A lengthy gin menu lists bottles from within Australia and around the world, pairing each with a specific Fever Tree tonic water and garnish to match the flavour profile.
“A lot of domestic distillers are making [gin] and there's some pretty cool gins from all around the world so we're just going to keep the momentum up and offer as many as we can,” Davis says. He’s a big fan of Warner Edward’s Rhubarb Gin from England, while closer to home current favourites include newcomer Brookie’s Gin from Byron Bay and Barossa Distilling’s Budburst Pink Gin.
Proud Henry’s wine list is short and sharp with 12 available by the glass and more by the bottle. Retail takeaways earn a $20 discount on the bottle price. Cheese and charcuterie boards are the only food on offer, but Tara Thai from across the road will deliver food to guests in the 12-seat dining room.
On Friday nights expect live music and keep an eye out for the monthly Gin Junkies event – it’s an opportunity to learn even more about the spirit of the moment.
Proud Henry Wine Bar & Ginoteca
153 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley
07 3102 1237
Tue to Thu 4pm⎯late