This Must Be The Place
When Luke Ashton (ex- Vasco) took out the 2013 World Class competition, he won a cool $100,000. It went towards building This Must Be The Place with Charlie Ainsbury (ex-Eau de Vie), who won the competition the year after.
The pair broke away from the basement speakeasy theme that was hot at the time, instead offering a light and airy space. The fit-out has a Nordic vibe, by way of white walls, plywood and a reclaimed-timber bar. Banquette seating and lounge tables run down side, while the other sparsely decorated wall a regularly changing selection of artwork. Even at night, it’s well-lit and can feel more like a cafe than a bar.
The cocktails are creative, but avoid showy tricks or gimmicks in favour of balanced, considered and seasonal ingredients. The duo makes its own syrups and only uses fresh, cold-pressed juices. The menu is tiny, offering just four spritzes and three cocktails at any one time, but of course, this is a place where you can ask for anything, be it an Old Fashioned or a concoction you’ve just invented.
The beer and wine lists are similarly concise, with a focus on small, new-school producers from Australia, France and beyond. Bar snacks complete the “less is better” theme. Razor clams with fresh bread; jamón with grissini; and a cheese plate all feature.