Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq – which first opened in Sydney late last year – is due to launch in Melbourne in October. Unsurprisingly, there’s a theme. The bar pays tribute to the circuses and amusement parks of the past, re-envisioned for the 21st century. It was conjured up by Funlab, which also manages Strike Bowling.
“We wanted to reference the excitement, absurdity and nostalgia of the sideshow,” says Funlab CEO Michael Schreiber. “A place where you are transported to a fun and exciting environment, an escape from the everyday humdrum.”
Funlab’s other bars provide unapologetically childlike entertainment for adults, and Archie Brothers is no different. There’ll be arcade games, an immersive 3D virtual-reality theatre, dodgem cars, bowling and balloon animals. All up, there are 67 arcade games, costing from $2 upwards. Like at B. Lucky, there are prizes, though there’s no indication yet of whether there’ll be Botox injections to win here too.
“[We’ll have] everything from novelty candy to collectible Star Wars characters in original packaging,” says Schreiber. “We have a team of people that are trawling the web, pawn shops and collectible retailers as we speak.”
The food is akin to what you’d find at a theme park; the Bullfighter Burger is a near-fluorescent pink bun loaded with beef, pulled pork, bacon and barbeque sauce, with fresh tomato, pickles and cheese. There are hot dogs, shakes, and fried potato gems dusted with cheddar cheese. On the side: caramelised garlic aioli and – optional – condiment syringes.
The cocktail bar will resemble a retro carousel, and you can expect more sensory overload when it comes to the drinks list – sweet syrups, neon liqueurs and candy garnishes dominate. The Shark Tanq is gin, blue curaçao, lime, coconut, orange bitters and Red Bull, finished with gummy-shark lollies. The Espresso Martini can be upgraded to include a mini Magnum.
“We set out to over stimulate the senses with sight, sound, smell, taste and feel,” Schreiber says. “We really want to blow our guests’ minds.”
Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq will open at The District Docklands on Thursday October 18.