What do taxidermy, bluegrass music, soul food, and pole dancing have in common? Lefty's Old Time Music Hall, partner, that's what.
You won't actually find any pole dancing there any more, but most people—okay, some people— will best know the Lefty's building at the top of Caxton Street as the former location of the Velvet Cigar, a house of disesteem where, by all accounts, certain roguish fops could observe young ladies dancing exotically on a stage.
The stage has been removed and replaced with leather dining booths and the entire space re-invented as Lefty's, a vintage drinking establishment conceived for your enjoyment by Jamie Webb (Cabiria, Peasant) and Jason Scott (Shady Pines Saloon, Sydney). The layout of the bar itself has remained quite faithful, by all accounts, to its former reincarnation; meaning it maintains its bordello-esque charm.
Lefty's Old Time Music Hall is high-ceilinged and deep, the space lives up satisfactorily to the 'hall' in its name, and the 'music' portion is also accounted for by a raised platform at one end that is decorated with zebra skin carpeting and a stuffed baboon, and more often than not holds a cluster of hirsute musicians playing folksy tunes.
Red walls, dark wood surfaces, charming antique chandeliers, and sultry mood lighting all make you feel as though, rather than just stopping by for a drink, you are partaking in some sort of late 19th century conspiratorial illicitness with your fellow patrons. It may not be sure whether its a frontier saloon or a Southern bawdy house, but Lefty's is 100 per cent old-fangled American, right down to the limited, but irresistible, menu featuring soul foods like salty, delicious Catfish po'boys and scandalously good fried onion rings. The food, crucially, is served right up until closing time.
Lefty's is no place for dandified drinkers either, so if you're chasing a fancypants cocktail you'd best skedaddle elsewhere. Specialities of the house are beer and whiskey, and they have an extensive range of both.
Fresh popcorn is supplied with your drinks, there's a lounge bar upstairs and, wait, have I mentioned the taxidermied animals all over the place? Giant moose heads peer down from the walls and there's a peacock and a black bear, and I think I already told you about the baboon malingering on stage.
If you happen to be a wild west bounty hunter just lookin' for a beer to wet your parched lips, a Southern popinjay in need of a shot of whiskey and a natter, or just a Brisbanite in search of a unique and atmospheric drinking establishment, Left's Old Time Music Hall will very likely suit your tastes.
Image credit: Pinterest