melbourne: le joint bar opening

© maison davis / photography: jesse o'brien

with its polished and demure image, melbourne has long been standing in the shadow of its more brash and glamourous rival sydney. but lately there seems to have been a shift going on that's in favour of the first, resulting in many high-profile and cool retail and hospitality openings and adding a badly needed funky edge to the city's lifestyle infrastructure. a local young-gun entrepreneur is davis yu who has shaken up the melbourne scene with no less than three hipster establishments in town. le joint is the very latest to join the fold, and needless to say, this spot was destined to become the new stomping ground of melbourne's young and restless. yu travels the planet wide and far for business, inspiration and pleasure - we've got the impression it's not specifically in that order... - and for the interior design of this new bar he has drawn inspiration from amsterdam's notorious red light district, a handful of quirky little bars he came across on the old continent and the world of fortune telling.

the design of le joint is a collab effort of yu's company maison davis, art director pierre hadlow and australian street artist awsey, who contributed with one of a kind murals. the setting has a clandestine, half speakeasy and half brothel feel, featuring many seating options with shared booths, tables and bar seating. an authentic zoltar fortune telling machine adds a touch of playful mystique to the place. when it comes to drinks, le joint takes itself very, very seriously to guarantee patrons a jolly good time. the liquor department is headed by rich hands of london institution milk & honey, and has a focus on a series of killer cocktails, age-old milk punches and vintage tributes. the liquids are paired with simple but quality bar food, and the menu lists tempting delicacies such as chicken dim sims, wagyu beef burger and fried chicken with aioli dip. on thursdays, fridays and saturdays various deejays hit the decks, adding up to the debaucherous fun at le joint. location: 233 lonsdale street [cbd].

© maison davis / photography: jesse o'brien