Taking over from the City Hotel, Mr Tipply's is the CBD's newest bar and eatery. The transformation is thanks to the Waugh Hotel Group, who have gutted the formerly unremarkable city boozer and given it a slick new look, complete with a globetrotting rogue (of the entirely fictional kind) as mascot.
Ben Lawler, CEO of the Waugh Hotel Group, is behind the new venture and has enlisted Matt Comensoli to manage the bar. “We wanted to do something different and have a bit of fun for our first city bar,” Lawler says. “A lot of people live around here. We really want to be for the locals.”
Interior designer Tamsin Johnson is responsible for the fit-out. She's brought in African wallpaper, an assortment of ceramics and a multi-hued palette. A sunken street-side level has chocolate-coloured banquettes and vibrant wall art. Past the long curved bar, the dining area features plenty of white wood, a splash of green pastel, rustic timber floorboards and long communal tables.
The menu has been put together by chef Elaine Lee with a focus on Asian-style share plates such as tempura rock shrimp with chilli mayo, and twice-cooked quail with edamame and a ginger dressing. Heartier fare includes char siu beef short ribs with Asian slaw, and Singapore-style chilli crab with squid ink linguine.
To wash it all down, Alpha Pale Ale is on tap and New Zealand sauvignon blanc comes by the glass. The cocktail list is headlined by the Kimchi Mary, which sees the Korean staple added to the hangover standby. If you can't handle that, the China Doll is vodka, lemon, lychee, monk pear tea, and sugar syrup.
There's more to come at Mr Tipply's, with the un-renovated first floor to be transformed into a new bar with a focus on cocktails and craft beer from next month.