When Poor Toms Gin’s Griffin Blumer and Jesse Kennedy first opened the roller door to 6 Chalder Avenue in Marrickville in 2015 – to be confronted by a mess of plastic chandeliers and rubble – they probably didn’t imagine their distillery could look like it does now.

The slender warehouse space houses a beautiful German-made still and a bar styled like a church.

The Jack Dunbar and Grant Wallwork design revolves around a bar with a long, marble-topped counter backed by a looming backlit archway decorated only by a Christmas tree-shaped gnome. In front of the bar there are a few benches, some stools and a scattering of plants, while at the back there are (oddly) two confessional-like bathrooms.

While Blumer and Kennedy handle the booze from the still, Melburnian recruit Sean McGuire (Nieuw Amsterdam) oversees everything behind the bar. His runs a tight, weekly cocktail list based on seasonal, fresh produce and, of course, Blumer and Kennedy’s still creations. All are available bottled to take away. That doesn’t just mean the usual Sydney Dry of Fool Strength gins, sitting at the Poor Toms bar gives you access to the rare releases, too. That might be grappa made from spat out Rootstock wines, or one of the seasonal distillery releases, which at present is a pink gin sweetened by strawberry, hibiscus, cardamom and ginger.

There’s no food made or served in house, but hungry patrons can order pizza from Pizza Madre around the corner, which one of the team will pick up in their own rebranded Deliveroo pizza bag.

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Updated: November 1st, 2023

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