When West Leederville cafe Hylin opened in 2014, founders Josh and Ryan McGinnity wanted to establish a neighbourhood-friendly address inspired by New York landmark the High Line.
The next chapter in the Hylin story sees the inner-west favourite dip its toes into the small bar waters.
Due to open later this month, the prosaically named Back Bar at Hylin will – according to Hylin co-owner Russell Corr – have a “stripped back feel, yet won’t be minimalist.” Expect industrial-leaning black bi-fold windows, naked Edison bulbs, timber features and plenty of plants.
“We wanted to create a space that is approachable and inviting that also has some connection with the cafe design,” says Corr who, together with wife Anita, took over Hylin a year ago.
Jake Silvester from pop-up bar company The Crafty Barman will run the bar and oversee the booze side of things. Early drafts of the drinks menu feature a healthy number of rum-based cocktails (Negronis made with Appleton rum, say, or a punchy three-rum Daiquiri) plus a strong Margaret River flavour to the wine list.
Meanwhile, recently arrived breakfast chef Tommy Payne is working on a menu of bar snacks for Hylin’s new expansion. Late of Beaufort Street’s perpetually buzzing Mexican cantina El Publico, Payne started at Hylin in February and quickly introduced a new everything-made-in-house policy. (Years of making guacamole at El Publico, it should be noted, have prepared him well for the deluge of smashed avo orders on weekends).
“The vibe on a busy breakfast at Hylin is similar to a busy restaurant service,” says Payne who admits the shift from late-night bar to 5am starts was a shock initially. “But I found my groove and I’m loving it. I’ve felt like there has been a bit of a plateau in the breakfast scene and I really want to make it exciting again. Coming from Melbourne, which has a vibrant breakfast culture, I already had some ideas of what I want to introduce to Perth. The menu is still developing and I’m testing new dishes constantly.”
In other West Leederville-related bar news, combined bar-and-bottleshop Besk is due to open later this year.
Back Bar at Hylin opens in April.