Since opening two years ago – and bringing a little more fanfare to drinking cocktails in the process – The Everleigh has fast become one of Fitzroy’s favourite drinking spots. Its sophisticated menu, impeccable service and refined space have set it apart from the very beginning. Indeed, it’s hard not to wonder how we ever got along without The Everleigh.
Well, just when we’re settled in, the team are ready to introduce The Elk Room, The Everleigh’s younger and perhaps more laidback brother bar next door.
For owner and manager Michael Madrusan, the room, which had been used briefly as an art space, had a singular identity of its own. But it was with the help of his sister Deanie and her partner Taryn Cornell that the vision was fully realised, brought to life and built.
“The Everleigh has a great balance of masculine and feminine, but The Elk Room is much more of my own baby,” admits Madrusan. “And I was able to employ some more masculine ideas I’d been collecting for years.”
It’s here that Madrusan’s growing collection of taxidermy deer heads, portraits of American Civil War soldiers and leather smoking lounges have found a home.
While Madrusan admits that he loves the elegance and frivolity of The Everleigh, The Elk Room is something else completely. “I wanted it to be darker, quieter, to have a bit more grit and be closer to an officer’s room.”
And while the two bars share the same impeccable drinks menu (Daisies, Fixes, Fizzes, Old Fashioneds, Sours and Sazeracs) and service, the personalities and atmospheres are very much their own.
There’s also talk of putting in a fireplace at some point. But for the meantime, come weekends (they’re only open Friday and Saturday nights), you’ll find small groups and couples tucking themselves into dark corners to drink by candlelight.
The Elk Room
Level 1, 150–156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9416 2229
Fri & Sat only, 8pm-1am
Available for private functions.