Waxflower – the Tokyo listening bar-inspired venue on Weston Street (right off Lygon Street in Brunswick) – is already known and loved by fans of food, wine and music for seamlessly blending the three into one slick neighbourhood spot. Now, owners Marek Polgar, David Byrne and Jimmy Pham have opened The Atrium, a much larger second space directly behind the main venue that adds another layer of creativity into the mix – visual arts.

The new space opened to the public at the end of last year and was transformed into a home for exhibitions by Arthouse Selective, a group founded by Jack Farrar and Dea Jeremic, that curates exhibitions and events around Melbourne in support of local artists and businesses.

What started as a one-off takeover has turned into a long-term partnership, with Arthouse Selective now curating bi-monthly exhibitions by local artists (with displayed artworks available to purchase) in The Atrium.

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“Our success [at Waxflower] is partly because of the symbiotic relationship we have with [music] artists and supporting the music community; it makes sense to find another pathway where we can support a different artistic community,” Polgar tells Broadsheet. “When you walk in, you’ve got the sound, you’ve got good food, you’ve got wine, and now there’s interesting details for the eyes. You’ve got another layer that’s operating there.”

The new space, which previously operated as a performing arts centre and cinema, is accessed through the main Waxflower entrance. An alcove ceiling and a large black curtain call to mind a small single-screen theatre. There’s a full bar on one side of the room, with bar stool seating and large wooden communal dining tables on the opposite side. The walls are adorned with posters from Peter Drew’s Aussie collection as well as Arthouse Selective’s curated works.

The original Waxflower bar’s flair has made it a bustling hotspot. But that meant groups would find it challenging to secure a spot in the intimate space. “At The Atrium, there’s an opportunity for larger groups to kind of take over the space,” says Polgar.

The Atrium fits up to 60 people and large groups can reserve a spot on Fridays and Saturdays; the venue can be completely booked out for functions and parties every day but Monday and Tuesday. If booking the space for a function, you’re granted the freedom to create your own ambience. There’s the option for a seated set menu for up to 30 people, or just snacks for more casual events. There’s also a DJ booth in the bar where you’re able to spin your own records and make use of the top-tier sound system.

The Atrium (Entry through Waxflower)
153 Weston Street, Brunswick
0434 491 699

The Atrium is available for private bookings Wednesday to Sunday. Please email Waxflower at hello@waxflowerbar.com.au for more information.