This bar is themed around fantasy and fairytales. In the wrong hands, it’s a concept that could come across as budget-theme-park. Happily, husband-and-wife duo Steve Thomas and Keti Kezunovic (29th Apartment, Pawn & Co) have experience with extravagant and conceptually ambitious venues. The result is more Brothers Grimm than Disney.
Inside you’ll recognise nothing from the Melbourne that exists outside. The concept revolves around gateways into alternate worlds, which Storyville’s owners believe is part of the reason people go out for a drink – a bit of fun and escape.
To realise this the space has been designed by companies specialising in film-set construction. They’ve made use of oversized props and structures, which dominate Storyville’s two floors.
The space is split into different sections, each with its own mood and design. The Mushroom Palace is a softly lit cocktail lounge with elaborate luminescent mushrooms hanging overhead.
The Bird Cage is designed with small groups and bottle service in mind. Upstairs things get a bit louder. A large Narnia-themed section has an imposing wooden bar and a pounding dance floor. The Library features a long wall of supersized book spines.
The cocktail menu – presented in the form of a classic storybook – takes cues from the literary fantasy world. A Willy Wonka-inspired cocktail comes with a golden ticket and the chance to win a surprise gift. Through the Looking Glass is a boozy dry-ice tea concoction.