It’s the sort of extravagance that few after-dark establishments indulge in, a concept that would feel very much at home in London or Berlin. And that’s what feels so refreshing about the reimagining of Taylor Square’s Lo-Fi bar as a kinetic, pulsating concept space – no one else in Sydney is doing it.

Relaunched this week, the Taylor Square establishment has been covered, wall to ceiling, in the heady, prismatic palette of homegrown fashion label Romance was Born. Using visuals from its Dream On collection, as well as a custom print adorning cushions, paper cups and barista aprons, designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales have installed a visual feast, punchy and tropical. Much of it has been arranged in collaboration with French-born UK artist Camille Walala.

Plunkett is perched among the sorbet-hued wallpaper and clusters of ferns. Across from her is Sales and bars of rainbow, neon light. “I feel like in Sydney people are pretty safe,” says Plunkett. “Just to take a chance and use colour, to have a bit of imagination, is super unusual. Everything we do is serious – even though the colours might not look like it. But there is definitely an underlying sense of humour.” For Sales, the key was changing the culture around Lo-Fi, transforming it into a first-stop venue for a quiet, “civilised” pre-drink. “In this area, there’s nothing that isn’t a tiny wine bar or a super dirty place … I’m looking forward to coming here after work.”

With the blessing of Paddy Coughlin, of Riverside Group, Romance was Born will expand Lo-Fi’s offerings, running events once a month for musician friends and emerging designers. A signature cocktail, tentatively titled, The Malibu Thing (with grapefruit juice, soda and a squeeze of lime) will serve as a tribute to the duo. Plunkett and Sales might just make the bar their usual, ordering bubbly champagnes and gin and tonics respectively.

Lo-Fi
Level 2, 383 Bourke Street Darlinghurst

Hours
Wed to Sun 6pm–late