The Store Room
You’ve probably driven along St Kilda Rd and seen that huge ‘stacked block’ building and thought, ‘I wonder what that place is about?’ Well mostly it’s about annoying modern architecture. But it’s also about the secret speakeasy bar on the ground floor.
We’ve gotta say—this is the last place we expected to find The Store Room...but we’re bloody glad we did.
Like most speakeasies, half the fun with The Store Room is just getting in the door. Next to Icon Coffee there’s a glass partition, and behind the glass, an old-school telephone. When you press #2, the wall slides away to reveal a delightfully kitschy dive bar. One part Prohibition, two parts op-shop. Congrats, you just found The Store Room.
Former barber Chris Dunkley rules the roost here. The space was originally going to be a hair salon...then it fell into disuse, becoming more of a storage room...and then the idea of a bar sounded way more fun. And it is fun, this place. Either Chris is a crazy aunty at heart, or he went on a very successful raid at Lost & Found—the décor is classic vintage wonderland. Mismatched mirrors on the walls, green subway tiles, curios and sewing machines trapped behind wire mesh, old surfboards and model planes hanging from the ceiling.
The cocktail list changes now and then, but you can usually find something delicious and made from gin. Try The Drunken Botanist—Botanist gin with lavender, lemon, cucumber and soda. Tastes like a childhood garden...with a lot of booze hidden in the flowerbeds.
There’s a thoughtful little wine list, but The Store Room is mostly about the spirits. Boutique gins from WA, Tasmania, France the UK, a couple of really interesting vodkas (try the Anestasia from Oregon, USA), and a solid mix of Australian, Japanese and Scotch whisky. Food is limited to cheeseboard and charcuterie at the moment, but there are a couple of jaffles on the cards too.
If more apartment blocks had hidden bars like this at the bottom, the world would be a happier place.
Image credit: Griffin Simm