For Emma and Ben Bangay, friends always enter their house through the ‘side door’. And that’s what this place is—a bar for friends. Making them, meeting them, drinking and laughing with them...ordering way too many Aperol Spritzes with them.
“We want people to spend less time on fussy menus and fancy cocktails and more time on each other,” Emma says.
FLATIRON Side Door is actually one half of a larger project. Up front on the corner you have FLATIRON Store, a lifestyle space where Emma’s sisters exhibit their own line of fashion and boutique homewares (along with some other curated accessories and art). During certain hours you can wander on through to FLATIRON Side Door, which is a homely, handmade wine bar.
If the fit-out here feels warm and comfortable, that’s because Ben built most of it himself, from the scalloped timber bar down to the welded window frames. He is a production designer in film and TV, so the magic of the space rests on the light, movement, art and finishes he is so passionate about.
Food-wise, the couple keep things simple. Shared salumi boards, olives from Toolunka Creek, artisan cheese platters and homemade pizza (the Prosciutto & Rocket is a safe bet, topped with shaved parmesan). Basically anything that tastes good in a lush wine garden. Which is handy, because FLATIRON Side Door has one of the most beautiful outdoor areas we’ve come across in a long while: big, chunky timber tables, leafy trees, and a deck that catches the Kew sunshine all day long.
Vino lovers will appreciate the wine list, too. Emma and Ben have handpicked some gems from the Strathbogie Ranges and Mornington Peninsula, then whacked on a few bottles of Italian Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe Soave for good measure. It’s all very easy drinking.
FLATIRON Side Door is open from Thursday to Sunday, 3pm – late. And a bonus: they’re also doing weddings and private functions all week long. Book like the wind, people.
Image credit: FLATIRON Side Door