Cure Bar and Eatery signals a trend, while simultaneously being unique. The trend being this: a couple of highly experienced industry mates get together and pour their heart and soul into creating a venue that reflects their personal taste and knowledge. But each venue that follows this trend is unique, a departure from the standard drinking establishments the city and the local areas have to offer. Recently profiled Long Play is another great example of industry pros doing it for themselves.

These venues offer their local community a nearby drinking hole but have enough allure to make people cross town to check out their offerings. In the case of Leigh and Tom, the proud owners of Cure Bar and Eatery, this allure is in the form of a pleasant and well-rounded offering.

It’s the result of a multi-disciplinary life spent in hospitality. Both have spent considerable time in Edinburgh, learning the craft of classic cocktails. (Often surprising to many, the Scottish capital produces some of the world’s best bartenders.) The perfectly considered cocktail list and promise of recreating any classic you can think of is certainly not an empty one, considering the background of these guys.

From here, Leigh’s time spent behind the bar at Baranows in Hawthorn becomes evident when you glance at the disproportionately large Scotch whisky offering. This is backed up by a knowledge that proves invaluable in pairing whisky with their food menu, the time of day or simply the type of mood you’re in.

And if it’s a coffee you’re after, there’s no espresso machine. But that doesn’t matter when you can have a freshly prepared siphon with a coffee blend courtesy of Tom’s previous employer, Auction Rooms.

It can only be an outcome of so long spent in hospitality that the inspired choice to combine food and drinks with a deli cabinet within the bar could have occurred. There is a separate kitchen that produces fantastic light meals through to full dinners. But there’s something to be said for having a visual on the charcuterie and cheeses right below the whisky you’re about to enjoy with it.

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Cure Bar and Eatery is on the front wave of a pioneering movement to provide local communities with comfortable places to be social or intimate in the same breath – with a great drinks offering, forward-thinking layouts and a generally happy disposition on the faces of the people serving you. It must be a revelation for these people, who have been making money for others for so long, to finally make it for themselves.

I implore you to embrace these venues, along with their high standards and discerning offerings. Together, we can trample the mediocre offerings put forth by midlife-crisis business bankers and housewives who always dreamed of owning a bar. They’ll never have an inkling of the experience put forth by this new breed of operators.

Cure Bar and Eatery
164 Rathdowne Street, Carlton

Mon closed
Tue, Wed 5pm-11pm
Thu-Sat 5pm-1am
Sun midday- 11pm