Smith Street's new Black Market isn't a pop-up just for the sake of it. "It all happened really quickly,” explains co-founder Sarah Booth (also an organiser of the Flour Market). “We basically got this up in a month."
“We” is three parties: Founder Effect (Booth, plus friend and interior architect Adele Winteridge), independent wine sellers, Blackhearts & Sparrows, plus Taco Truck tycoon Raph Rashid, also known for his hamburgers at Beatbox Kitchen, doughnuts and most recently, a cookbook.
Blackhearts & Sparrows secured the brick-lined space first, intending to add another bottleshop to its existing group. Council told them the site's usage couldn't be modified until February next year, at which point Founder Effect was approached for a fill-in concept.
Inside, the main bar doubles as a communal table and vertical venetian blinds dangle from the ceiling, breaking the space into cosier pockets. The greenery is by Loose Leaf's Charlie Lawler, another Flour Market co-founder.
Perched on top of worn-out Porsche tyres, two beer taps pour whatever Blackhearts is feeling this week, backed by a solid wine list. Out of a window out back, Rashid's team cooks up fried-chicken sandwiches, tacos, shaker fries, and wings finished with celery leaf and Danish feta. His food trucks aren't allowed to operate in the City of Yarra, so this is something of a first.
In the near future, the space will be used to host special events, DJs and collaborations with the likes of Melbourne Gin Co. and Everyday Coffee. Not too many, though, as it'll turn into a bottleshop early next year.